Gender Disparities in Childhood Poverty and Employment Quality among Young Adult Workers in South Korea

Hayoung Choi, Boyoung Nam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Numerous studies have indicated that the quality of employment available to young adults when entering the labor market determines their future career paths. In particular, young adults who grew up in poverty are at greater risk, as they tend to be less competitive than their peers in the job market. However, only a few studies have explored the role of the length of poverty exposure and gender difference in this relationship. Thus, this study examines the impact of the duration of childhood poverty (1–14th waves) on both employment status (employed vs. unemployed) and type (regular vs. non-regular workers) in the early years of labor market participation among young adults in South Korea. Data from young adults aged 25–34 years (N = 595) from the Korean Labor and Income Panel Survey (KLIPS, Korean Labor Institute; 22nd wave) were analyzed for this study. The results showed a gendered effect on the relationship between the duration of childhood poverty and employment type. The duration of childhood poverty showed no association with the young South Korean's ability to procure jobs. However, it was associated with female participants’ employment type. This indicates that women with a longer duration in childhood poverty have more difficulties in obtaining a decent job. Therefore, developing gender-sensitive intervention policies that focus on providing equal education opportunities and facilitating a smooth school-to-work transition may ameliorate the intergenerational transmission of poverty.

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Research in Quality of Life
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Yonsei University Research Grant of 2020 (Grant numbers: 2020–22-0442).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) and Springer Nature B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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