Published April 2003
A life-course account of the pathways to adult social exclusion for children born in 1958 is explored. We identify the pervasive childhood factors, associated with a wide range of adult disadvantage, and specific life-course domain antecedents. Childhood disadvantage has more powerful legacies for women than for men: pathways to social exclusion are gendered. Experiences of disadvantage between ages 16 and 23 relate as closely to outcomes at age 33 as at age 23. The excess legacy of childhood disadvantage for women is mediated through lone motherhood. There are strong continuities and interconnections across the life-course in the legacies of earlier disadvantage. Unemployment or divorce between ages 23 and 33 promote disadvantage at age 33 and the legacies of divorce are more powerful for women. The implications for our understanding of the processes of social exclusion and the need for policy responses tailored according to lifetime patterns of disadvantage are discussed.