Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Poor Neighborhoods' Influence On Parents May Raise Preschool Children's Risk Of Problems

Date:
February 8, 2008
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
New research that examined the influence of poor neighborhoods on parents has linked parental factors to increased risk of verbal and behavioral problems in children. Living in poor neighborhoods was associated with poorer mental health in parents, poorer family relations, and less consistent and more punitive parenting. The study also found less neighborhood cohesion or mutual trust in poor neighborhoods, which were often associated in turn with parenting styles related to behavior problems in children.

Children who live in poor neighborhoods may be at increased risk of verbal and behavioral problems. A new study suggests that for some of their parents, living in poor neighborhoods is associated with poorer mental health, poorer family relations, and less consistent and more punitive parenting. The study aimed to determine the relationships between neighborhood characteristics and parenting, and between parenting and children's preschool performance.

Related Articles


The research was conducted by researchers at the University of Ottawa, Johns Hopkins University, the University of British Columbia, and Statistics Canada.

"This study does not show that poverty leads to bad parenting, which in turn leads to poor outcomes in children," according to Dafna E. Kohen, adjunct professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine at the University of Ottawa, senior research analyst at Statistics Canada, and the study's lead author. "Rather, this study shows that in neighborhoods where there is socioeconomic disadvantage, children's verbal and behavioral outcomes are influenced by poor parental mental health and parenting behaviors."

Children's neighborhoods play an important role in their development, yet little is known about how the characteristics of those neighborhoods affect young children. Existing research suggests that children who live in poor neighborhoods are at greater risk of problems when entering school and of behavioral and emotional difficulties. This study goes beyond the existing evidence to explore characteristics of neighborhoods and how those characteristics relate to the well-being of parents and children.

The study examined 3,528 preschoolers from a nationally representative sample of Canadian children. Specifically, the researchers looked at characteristics such as neighborhood cohesion, or the sense of trust among neighbors, and the sense of community organization (whether or not residents can get together to address community issues or problems, for example). They also looked at family factors such as mothers' mental health and how families function, and parenting behaviors such as reading and discipline. And they measured the children's verbal ability and assessed how their parents rated their children's behavior.

The researchers found that there is less neighborhood cohesion or mutual trust in poor neighborhoods, which, in turn, can be associated with poorer mental health in parents and greater family dysfunction. Furthermore, these factors are associated with less consistent and more punitive parenting, the study found. Punitive parenting is associated with a greater incidence of behavior problems in children. Families living in poor neighborhoods also are less likely to read to their children at home, and children who are not read to by their parents have lower scores on tests of verbal ability.

"Findings from this study demonstrate that the impact of living in a disadvantaged neighborhood exerts its influence through both neighborhood and family mechanisms," according to Kohen. "Children benefit from parents who are physically and emotionally healthy and live in safe neighborhoods where they trust their neighbors. Among the implications of these findings are community-based initiatives to promote literacy activities and parenting behaviors for the healthy development of children and their families."

Journal reference: Child Development, Vol. 79, Issue 1, Neighborhood Disadvantage: Pathways of Effects for Young Children by Kohen, DE (Statistics Canada and University of Ottawa), Leventhall, T (Tufts University, formerly with Johns Hopkins University), Dahinten, VS (University of British Columbia), and McIntosh, CN (Statistics Canada).

The study was funded, in part, by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Poor Neighborhoods' Influence On Parents May Raise Preschool Children's Risk Of Problems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080207085613.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2008, February 8). Poor Neighborhoods' Influence On Parents May Raise Preschool Children's Risk Of Problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080207085613.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Poor Neighborhoods' Influence On Parents May Raise Preschool Children's Risk Of Problems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080207085613.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Rooftop Comedy (Jan. 26, 2015) A man in Texas saved every penny he found for 65 years, and this week he finally cashed them in. Bank tellers at Prosperity Bank in Slaton, Texas were shocked when Ira Keys arrived at their bank with over 500 pounds of loose pennies stored in coffee cans. After more than an hour of sorting and counting, it turned out the 81 year-old was in possession of 81,600 pennies, or $816. And he&apos;s got more at home! Video provided by Rooftop Comedy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins