Do places matter? Socioeconomic disadvantage and behavioral problems of children in Canada

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2002 Apr;70(2):378-89. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.70.2.378.


This study evaluated the influence of neighborhoods and socioeconomic disadvantage on behavioral problems rated by parents and teachers in a nationally representative sample of children ages 4 to 11 years living in Canada. Between-neighborhood variation accounted for 7.6% and 6.6% of parent and teacher ratings, respectively. About 25.0% of this neighborhood variation could be explained by socioeconomic variables evenly divided between neighborhood and family-level measures. Family socioeconomic status, lone-parent family status, and percentage of lone parents in neighborhoods were strong, reliable predictors of behavioral problems. Ratings were contextualized: Fewer behavioral problems were assessed in children from well-off families living in disadvantaged neighborhoods, whereas more problems were assessed in children from poor families living in advantaged neighborhoods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Assessment
  • Psychosocial Deprivation*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Environment*
  • Socioeconomic Factors*