Neighborhood disadvantage: pathways of effects for young children

Child Dev. 2008 Jan-Feb;79(1):156-69. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.01117.x.


The present study used Canadian National Longitudinal data to examine a model of the mechanisms through which the effects of neighborhood socioeconomic conditions impact young children's verbal and behavioral outcomes (N= 3,528; M age = 5.05 years, SD= 0.86). Integrating elements of social disorganization theory and family stress models, and results from structural equation models suggest that both neighborhood and family mechanisms played an important role in the transmission of neighborhood socioeconomic effects. Neighborhood disadvantage manifested its effect via lower neighborhood cohesion, which was associated with maternal depression and family dysfunction. These processes were, in turn, related to less consistent, less stimulating, and more punitive parenting behaviors, and ultimately, poorer child outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Anomie*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Educational Status
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language Development Disorders / diagnosis
  • Language Development Disorders / psychology*
  • Male
  • Personality Development
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Behavior*
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Stress, Psychological / complications