The influence of the neighborhood physical environment on early child health and development: A review and call for research

Health Place. 2015 May:33:25-36. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.01.005. Epub 2015 Mar 2.


This review examines evidence of the association between the neighborhood built environment, green spaces and outdoor home area, and early (0-7 years) child health and development. There was evidence that the presence of child relevant neighborhood destinations and services were positively associated with early child development domains of physical health and wellbeing and social competence. Parents׳ perceptions of neighborhood safety were positively associated with children׳s social-emotional development and general health. Population representative studies using objective measures of the built environment and valid measures of early child development are warranted to understand the impact of the built environment on early child health and development.

Keywords: Child Health; Child development; Environment; Neighborhood; Play.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Child Health*
  • Environment Design*
  • Humans
  • Parents / psychology
  • Play and Playthings
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Safety
  • Social Change
  • Socioeconomic Factors