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Health Place. 2017 Jul;46:155-174. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2017.04.012. Epub 2017 May 18.

A review of neighborhood effects and early child development: How, where, and for whom, do neighborhoods matter?

Author information

1
Human Early Learning Partnership, School of Population and Public Health, 2206 E Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z3. Electronic address: anita.minh@gmail.com.
2
Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit, University of Saskatchewan, 3333 E-Wing, Health Sciences Building, 104 Clinic Place, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 2Z4.
3
The Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4K1.
4
Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, 408-727 McDermot Ave., Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3E 3P5.
5
Human Early Learning Partnership, School of Population and Public Health, 2206 E Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z3.

Abstract

This paper describes a scoping review of 42 studies of neighborhood effects on developmental health for children ages 0-6, published between 2009 and 2014. It focuses on three themes: (1) theoretical mechanisms that drive early childhood development, i.e. how neighborhoods matter for early childhood development; (2) dependence of such mechanisms on place-based characteristics i.e. where neighborhood effects occur; (3) dependence of such mechanisms on child characteristics, i.e. for whom is development most affected. Given that ecological systems theories postulate diverse mechanisms via which neighborhood characteristics affect early child development, we specifically examine evidence on mediation and/or moderation effects. We conclude by discussing future challenges, and proposing recommendations for analyses that utilize ecological longitudinal population-based databases.

KEYWORDS:

Early child development; Literature review; Mediation; Moderation; Neighborhood effects

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