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Housing and child development

  • Leventhal, Tama
  • Newman, Sandra
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    This article presents a critical review of recent research on the role of housing in children's development, including physical health; social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes; and schooling, achievement, and economic attainment. We focus on six features of housing that are central to housing policy and have generally received the most research attention: (1) physical housing quality; (2) crowding; (3) residential mobility; (4) homeownership; (5) subsidized housing; and (6) unaffordability. The strongest evidence is provided for the deleterious associations between environmental toxins/hazards and crowding with children's health, and for residential mobility with children's short-term academic, social and emotional problems. The findings on assisted housing are mixed, and homeownership and affordability are not linked to children's outcomes. More methodologically rigorous and conceptually focused research is needed. Despite fundamental knowledge gaps, the results have implications for housing policies focused on homeownership, subsidies and land use regulations.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 9 (September)
    Pages: 1165-1174

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:32:y:2010:i:9:p:1165-1174
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    1. Janet Currie & Aaron Yelowitz, 1997. "Are Public Housing Projects Good for Kids?," NBER Working Papers 6305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Daniel Aaronson, 1999. "A note on the benefits of homeownership," Working Paper Series WP-99-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    3. Donald R. Haurin & Toby L. Parcel & R. Jean Haurin, 2002. "Does Homeownership Affect Child Outcomes?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 30(4), pages 635-666.
    4. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe & James Spaulding, 1991. "Childhood events and circumstances influencing high school completion," Demography, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 133-157, February.
    5. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1986. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S1-39, July.
    6. Sandra J. Newman, 2008. "Does housing matter for poor families? A critical summary of research and issues still to be resolved," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 895-925.
    7. Shana Pribesh & Douglas Downey, 1999. "Why are residential and school moves associated with poor school performance?," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(4), pages 521-534, November.
    8. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric, 2005. "The effect of overcrowded housing on children's performance at school," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 797-819, June.
    9. Sandra J. Newman & Joseph M. Harkness, 2002. "The long-term effects of public housing on self-sufficiency," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 21-43.
    10. David Barker & Eric Miller, 2009. "Homeownership and Child Welfare," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 37(2), pages 279-303.
    11. Richard K. Green & Michelle J. White, 1994. "Measuring the Benefits of Homeowning: Effects on Children," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 94-05, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
    12. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, July.
    13. Angela R. Fertig & David A. Reingold, 2007. "Public housing, health, and health behaviors: Is there a connection?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 831-860.
    14. Nan Astone & Sara McLanahan, 1994. "Family structure, residential mobility, and school dropout: A research note," Demography, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 575-584, November.
    15. Suzanne Bianchi, 2000. "Maternal employment and time with children: Dramatic change or surprising continuity?," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 401-414, November.
    16. Boehm, Thomas P. & Schlottmann, Alan M., 1999. "Does Home Ownership by Parents Have an Economic Impact on Their Children?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 217-232, September.
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