The Effects of Housing and Neighborhood Crowding on Children's Well-Being

Claudia Solari, University of California, Los Angeles
Robert D. Mare, University of California, Los Angeles

The degree to which children grow up in crowded housing and neighborhood conditions is a neglected but potentially important component of social inequality and its effect on their well-being. This paper uses a large sample of children from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey to explore the effects of housing and neighborhood crowding on a variety of child outcomes, including academic achievement, behavioral problems, and health. Using multilevel and latent variable models, we examine the gross effects of crowding as well as net effects controlling for other family and neighborhood social and demographic factors. We seek to determine whether there are significant net effects of crowding and whether differential exposure to crowding accounts for some the effects of family poverty and immigration status on child outcomes. This study can enhance our understanding of how crowding at several levels of children’s living environment may affect their well-being.

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Presented in Session 96: The Role of Community in Children's Well-Being