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.

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 July 31, 2014 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 July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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