Neighbourhood disadvantage

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Neighbourhood disadvantage in the AIFS library catalogue

Creating and testing neighbourhood built environment indicators for better child development outcomes: Australian Early Development Census - Built Environment (AEDC-BE) study

Villanueva K, Badland H, Alderton A, Higgs C, Turrell G and Goldfeld S
Melbourne : Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, 2020.
This report explores how features of the neighbourhood built environment may influence children's health and development. It examines whether built environment features contribute to associations between neighbourhood disadvantage and early childhood development. Using data from the 2015 Australian Early Development Census (AEDC), it analyses associations between both built environment features and neighbourhood disadvantage and child outcomes, and examines whether built environment features contribute to associations between neighbourhood disadvantage and early childhood development. The study finds that though the built environment has only a small influence on the relationship between neighbourhood disadvantage and early childhood development at the national level, small effects at the population level may have ongoing and wide-ranging impacts. Access to high quality early childhood education and care services and housing affordability and density are particularly promising indicators.

Family and neighborhood socioeconomic status and temperament development from childhood to adolescence.

Strickhouser J and Sutin A
Journal of Personality v. 88 no. 3 Jun 2020: 515-529
This article investigates whether children's temperament is associated with the socioeconomic status of their family and local neighbourhood. Using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), the article looks at the development of temperament across childhood and adolescence from the age of 4/5 to 15/16 years of age. Overall, the findings indicate that children from families and neighbourhoods with lower neighbourhood socioeconomic status tend to have lower sociability, higher reactivity, and lower persistence - in childhood and into adolescence.

Money matters - but so do people : children's views and experiences of living in a 'disadvantaged' community.

Bessell S
Children and Youth Services Review v. 97 Feb 2019: 59-66
This article explores children's views on what makes a strong and supportive community. Surveys were held with 108 children aged 8-12 years old. The findings highlight that though family poverty and inadequate public infrastructure can have a negative impact on children, strong and supportive relationships also play a significant positive role. The findings have implications for community development initiatives.

A macro-level approach to assess the early developmental vulnerabilities of children in Australia : a local government area-based analysis.

Biswas R and Kabir E
Children and Youth Services Review v. 93 Oct 2018: 161-169
This article investigates the impact of local socioeconomic factors on children's early developmental vulnerability, at the Local Government Area level. It models district factors such as proportion of low-income families, welfare dependent families, single parent families, participation of women in the labor market, availability of home Internet, and unemployment, and the proportion of vulnerable children in the area. The findings reveal that the association between socioeconomic factors and children's developmental vulnerability is seen not just at a household level, but at a macro, Local Government Area level too.

Risk and protective factors in early childhood: an ecological perspective

Legge E
Subiaco, WA : CoLab, Telethon Kids Institute, 2018
"Early childhood development occurs within the context of multiple environments, with a vast range of factors in these environments exerting influence on different aspects of a child's development. This Evidence Report discusses the potential for the characteristics of these environments to increase the risk of a young child experiencing poor developmental outcomes or, alternatively, to enable protection from the impact of adversity. An Ecological Framework of Child Development is outlined, and the key factors influencing development in a child's immediate contexts are summarised, including: the prenatal environment, the family and home environment, and early childhood education and care. This Evidence Report then considers the influence of broader contexts on early childhood development including: neighbourhoods and communities, cultural and political systems, and process of development over time. Finally, we summarise the Ecological Approach to early childhood interventions."

Place, jobs, peers and the teenage years: exposure effects and intergenerational mobility

Deutscher N
Indooroopilly, Qld : Life Course Centre, Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland, 2018.
Why do children growing up in some areas do better than those growing up elsewhere? This paper investigates the impact of place on a child's income in early adulthood, by comparing children who remained in a neighbourhood with those who moved away. Are their economic outcomes similar to the children they left behind or the children they joined, and does the age they moved have an impact? The paper uses data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. It finds that where a child grows up has a causal effect on adult income, most significantly for location during adolescence. Two of the potential explanations are also briefly considered, including the fact that spending more years in a place in adolescence lifts the probability of entering the associated local labour market.

Place, jobs, peers and the importance of the teenage years: exposure effects and intergenerational mobility

Deutscher N
Australia : Nathan Deutscher, 2018.
Research has found that where one grows up has impacts on later life outcomes. This paper provides new insights into how this association works. It uses intergenerational tax data to compare the incomes of taxpayers born between 1978 and 1991 and their parents, siblings, and peers, and whether they moved away from the area in childhood. The study finds that where a child grows up does have a causal effect on their adult income, though mostly in the teenage years. Data is taken from the Australian Taxation Office, with some analysis also of data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey.

Contexts of disadvantage

Warren D and Edwards B
Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Social Services, 2017.
Growing up in poor households or poor neighbourhoods or attending a disadvantaged school have all been found to be independently associated with poorer child outcomes, but the mechanisms behind these 'contexts of disadvantage' are less well understood. This paper adds to the research by examining the associations between family, neighbourhood, and school level disadvantage and children's cognitive and social outcomes, utilising data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). The analysis finds that the experience of any one of these types of disadvantage is detrimental, but furthermore, different types of disadvantage have stronger influences at different times during childhood. For example, in the early years of childhood, the influence of family disadvantage is stronger than that of neighbourhood disadvantage. However, the relationship between disadvantage and child outcomes is more complex and varied than merely a simple association, with implications for policy and intervention.

Role of positive parenting in the association between neighborhood social disadvantage and brain development across adolescence.

Whittle S, Vijayakumar N, Simmons J, Dennison M, Schwartz O, Pantelis C, Sheeber L, Byrne M and Allen N
JAMA Psychiatry v. 74 no. 8 2017: 824-832
This article investigates whether growing up in a disadvantaged neighbourhood has a negative effects on young people's brain development, and whether positive parenting provides a buffer. Data is taken from a longitudinal study held from 2004 to 2012 in Melbourne, Victoria, with participants aged 11 to 20 years old. Magnetic resonance imaging scans were undertaken in early, middle, and late adolescence, and data on parent and neighbourhood disadvantage were also collected, as well as observations of positive maternal parenting behaviours. The study finds that growing up in a disadvantaged neighbourhood may have negative effects on children's brain development, but for males, at least, positive parenting negated these effects.

Poor mental health: the links between child poverty and mental health problems

Ayre D
London : Children's Society, 2016.
This report adds to what is known about the relationship between growing up in poverty and children's mental health, and makes recommendations for British government intervention. In particular, the report focuses on the role of low income, debt, and poor and inadequate housing. It draws on a review of the literature and British policy, as well as new analysis of the Understanding Society dataset, a survey of specialist mental health services, and focus groups with children aged 9 to 16 with direct experience of living in poverty and with mental health issues. Sections include: Methodology; Definitions of mental health and poverty; Evidence of the links between poverty and children's emotional well-being and mental health; Low income and mental health; The effect of problem debt on children's mental health; The effect of poor housing and disadvantaged communities on children's mental health; Policy context; Addressing the links between child poverty and mental health problems through schools; and Recommendations.

Family income and child cognitive and noncognitive development in Australia : does money matter?

Khanam R and Nghiem S
Demography v. 53 no. 3 Jun 2016: 597-621
This article investigates whether money has an impact on children's wellbeing and behaviour. Using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, it compares parental income and children's development and considers whether this is mediated by any other factors, such as parental stress and health, parenting style, and neighborhood characteristics. The study found that though children from wealthier backgrounds tend to do better at school, they're not any happier or better behaved than children from less-privileged families.

Community factors influencing child and adolescent depression : a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Stirling K, Toumbourou J and Rowland B
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry v. 49 no. 10 Oct 2015: 869-886
Though many studies have investigated individual and family risk and protective factors for depression in children and young people, less is known about community-level factors. This article adds to the research with a systematic review of the Australian and international literature to identify community risk and protective factors for this age group, such as neighbourhood disadvantage, safety, immigrant concentration, community connectedness, and remote areas.

The effects of exposure to better neighborhoods on children: new evidence from the Moving to Opportunity experiment

Chetty R, Hendren N and Katz L
Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 2015.
"The Moving to Opportunity (MTO) experiment offered randomly selected families living in high-poverty housing projects housing vouchers to move to lower-poverty neighborhoods. We present new evidence on the impacts of MTO on children's long-term outcomes using administrative data from tax returns. We find that moving to a lower-poverty neighborhood significantly improves college attendance rates and earnings for children who were young (below age 13) when their families moved. These children also live in better neighborhoods themselves as adults and are less likely to become single parents. The treatment effects are substantial: children whose families take up an experimental voucher to move to a lower-poverty area when they are less than 13 years old have an annual income that is $3,477 (31%) higher on average relative to a mean of $11,270 in the control group in their mid-twenties. In contrast, the same moves have, if anything, negative long-term impacts on children who are more than 13 years old when their families move, perhaps because of disruption effects. The gains from moving fall with the age when children move, consistent with recent evidence that the duration of exposure to a better environment during childhood is a key determinant of an individual's long-term outcomes. The findings imply that offering families with young children living in high-poverty housing projects vouchers to move to lower-poverty neighborhoods may reduce the intergenerational persistence of poverty and ultimately generate positive returns for taxpayers."--Author abstract.

Parenting on a low income: topic report.

Mountney K
Edinburgh : Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, 2012
The experience of living on low incomes and in poverty is almost always overwhelmingly negative, impacting on adults and children's lives in a variety of ways. This literature reviews examines the research on parenting on a low income. Topics include: impacts of low income on families, how do parents on low incomes manage?, work and care, low-income neighbourhoods, impact of the current economic climate, how is poverty measured in the UK?, why do some families experience poverty?, who is most at risk of living in poverty?, the additional costs of disability, and understanding low income and family life. The report also includes British statistics on poverty and additional information on the impact on families affected by disability. This review was conducted by the About Families project to help inform voluntary and public sector agencies in the development of services.

Moving to Opportunity for fair housing demonstration program: final impacts evaluation

Sanbonmatsu L
Washington, DC : U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research, 2011.
"This report presents the long-term impacts of a unique housing mobility demonstration, Moving to Opportunity (MTO), on housing and neighborhood conditions, physical and mental health, economic self-sufficiency, risky and criminal behavior, and educational outcomes. The MTO demonstration was authorized by the U.S. Congress in section 152 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992. In 1994, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched MTO to test whether offering housing vouchers to families living in public housing projects in high-poverty neighborhoods of large inner cities could improve their lives and the lives of their children by allowing them to move to lower-poverty neighborhoods. The original authorizing legislation for MTO charged HUD with describing 'the long-term housing, employment, and educational achievements of the families assisted under the demonstration program.' This report discharges that responsibility."

Family futures : childhood and poverty in urban neighbourhoods

Power A, Davidson R and Willmot H
Bristol, UK : Policy Press, 2011.
"[This book] is about family life in areas of concentrated poverty and social problems where surrounding conditions make bringing up children more difficult and family life more fraught and limited. Home and neighbourhood carry special meaning for families. Where they live, how they fit in with their neighbours, and how their children grow up all intertwine, to build a sense of community. [This book] is based on a unique longitudinal study of over 200 families interviewed annually over the last decade. It answers three important questions in the words of families themselves: what challenges face families in poor areas?, how are the challenges being met?, and have government efforts helped or hindered progress over the last decade?"

Little Australians: differences in early childhood development.

Gong C, McNamara J and Cassells R
Sydney : AMP Limited, 2011.
Using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, this report examines differences in how young children are developing in Australia. It measures differences for children aged 4 to 5 years old in the areas of physical health; social and emotional functioning; and learning and cognitive development, and the association with such factors as child care attendance, reading, family income, parent health, urban versus rural location, and neighbourhood characteristics.

Children's socio-emotional, physical, and cognitive outcomes : do they share the same drivers?

Sanson A, Smart D and Misson S
Australian Journal of Psychology v. 63 no. 1 Mar 2011: 56-74
It is commonly asserted that the same, or similar, risk factors are associated with a wide range of problematic child and adolescent outcomes such as educational, social and emotional problems, and poor health. This argument underpins calls for preventive approaches that target common causal drivers. However, the argument rests largely on the compilation of findings from multiple studies of single outcomes. 'Growing Up in Australia, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children' is one of relatively few studies that can directly test this proposition within the one dataset. The same neighbourhood, child care, school, family, and child factors measured at 4-5 and 6-7 years were used to predict children's social/emotional, physical, and learning outcomes at 8-9 years, allowing assessment of commonalities in the predictors of each outcome. Results showed that the 'common drivers' proposition generally applied, but there were also unique factors associated with each outcome. Implications for intervention are discussed.

Neighbourhood influences on child development

Edwards B and Katz I
Ashfield, NSW : Community Services, Dept. of Human Services, 2010.
This DVD features two presentations on the topic of neighbourhood influences on child development, held on the 21st April 2010 as part of the New South Wales Department of Community Services seminar series. 'Does it take a village? Neighbourhood influences on young children's development', by Ben Edwards, presents findings from Growing Up in Australia, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. 'Lessons for policy and practice from the evaluation of Communities for Children', by Ilan Katz, discusses the impact of the CfC area-based intervention on the health, development, and engagement of parents and children, in particular for hard to reach families. The seminar also includes a panel discussion with Dr Edwards, Professor Katz, and Ross Beaton, a regional strategy manager, on the practice implications of this research. Additional material is also available, including staff biographies, presentation slides, and reports.

Young Australians and economic adversity.

Skattebol J and Griffiths M
SPRC Newsletter no. 104 Mar 2010: 1, 4-6
The Making a Difference Project explores the attitudes of young people facing economic adversity in Australia. Conducted with young people aged 11 to 17 years old in disadvantaged metropolitan neighbourhoods, the study investigates the effects of money problems on school, participation in activities, family resources, and aspirations. By years of age, some young people's participation habits and learning orientations have already been adversely affected by their economic situation. This article describes the study and discusses findings on the complexity of young people's financial contexts, income generation, spending, and stigma.

Neighbourhood influences on young children's emotional and behavioural problems.

Edwards B and Bromfield L
Family Matters no. 84 2010: 7-19
Place can facilitate opportunities or constrain and limit individuals, their families and communities. Although there is evidence to suggest that growing up in more disadvantaged neighbourhoods affects Australian children, little is known about what explains differences in the outcomes of children living in disadvantaged and advantaged neighbourhoods. In this article, the authors examine the role that perception of neighbourhood safety and neighbourhood social capital play in explaining the differences in hyperactivity, peer problems and emotional symptoms for children living in socio-economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods compared to advantaged ones. Data is taken from Growing Up in Australia, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children.

Children of the 21st century : the first five years

Hansen K, Joshi H and Dex S
Bristol, UK : Policy Press, c2010.
"This book documents the first five years of life of the children of the influential Millennium Cohort Study, which is tracking almost 19,000 babies born in 2000 and 2001 in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This book is the second in a series of books which will report on the findings from the data and follows on from Children of the 21st century: From birth to nine months (The Policy Press, 2005). It takes an extended look at the children's lives and development as they grow and begin formal education, and the implications for family policy, and service planning in health and social services. The chapters in this book are written by experts across a wide range of social science and health fields and form a unique look at the early lives of children that cuts across disciplinary boundaries."

Children, families & communities : contexts and consequences

Bowes J and Grace R
South Melbourne, Vic. : Oxford University Press, c2009.
Focusing on child development in context, the contributors to this book consider the interconnectedness of children, families and communities and the processes through which they influence each other. An understanding of children's development and measures to enhance their well being must take into account the families and communities to which they belong. The book establishes the theoretical framework for exploring the interactive influences of children and communities, and examines the contextual differences on several levels: the individual, dealing with individual characteristics that can affect well being and development; families, educational settings and local community; refugee children and their families in Australia; and issues that affect social policy. All chapters have been selected for individual indexing.

Just scraping by?: conversations with Tasmanians living on low incomes.

Tasmanian Council of Social Service. Social Policy and Research Team
Sandy Bay, Tas. : Tasmanian Council of Social Service, 2009.
This report explores the lived experience of poverty and disadvantage in Tasmania. Based on surveys of 150 Tasmanians on a low income, it provides a human face to an earlier report by the Council on statistics and indicators of poverty. One aspect is the impact on parents in providing a safe neighbourhood and daily essentials for families. The research shows that poverty is not a static or temporary condition, and instead persists and has a compounding effect on itself: that is, struggling to make ends meet on a low income can easily lead to increasing levels of debt and to greater social deprivation and disadvantage.

Neighborhood influences on young children's conduct problems and pro-social behavior : evidence from an Australian national sample.

Edwards B and Bromfield L
Children and Youth Services Review v. 31 no. 3 Mar 2009: 317-324
Research into neighbourhood influences on children's outcomes shows that greater levels of neighbourhood socioeconomic disadvantage are associated with increased social, emotional and behavioural problems in children and adolescents. However, most of this research has focused on late childhood and adolescence. Using data from 'Growing Up in Australia, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children', a nationally representative study of 4983 four-to-five-year old children growing up in 257 neighbourhoods in Australia, this article investigates the mechanisms through which neighbourhood socioeconomic status influences children's conduct problems and pro-social behaviour. After accounting for family demographic variables, children's conduct problems are found to be associated with neighbourhood socioeconomic status, neighbourhood safety and neighbourhood belonging. Perceptions of neighbourhood safety and neighbourhood belonging are found to mediate the relationships between neighbourhood socioeconomic status and children's conduct problems, and the associations of neighbourhood safety with conduct problems were mediated by neighbourhood belonging. A different pattern of results emerges for pro-social behaviour, which has direct association with neighbourhood cleanliness and neighbourhood belonging and no mediated associations.

Growing up in Scotland study: exploring the experience and outcomes for advantaged and disadvantaged families

Bradshaw P, Martin C and Cunningham-Burley S
Edinburgh : Education Analytical Services, Scottish Government, 2008.
"This report uses data from the Growing up in Scotland (GUS) study to explore the contribution of specific measures of advantage and disadvantage in relation to a number of specific health related behaviours for parent and child and, in doing so, seeks to identify the characteristics of more vulnerable and more resilient families. Findings are based on the first sweep of GUS, which involved interviews with the main carers of 5,217 children aged 0-1 years old and 2,859 children aged 2-3 years old, carried out between April 2005 and March 2006. Analysis in this report has been restricted to the birth cohort only. The data demonstrated clear inter-relationships between age of mother at the sample child's birth, family type (that is being in a couple family, being a lone parent living with other adults, or a lone parent living only with children), socio-economic classification, household income and area deprivation. It is clear that age and family type themselves are important factors contributing to a mother's relative social position with concentrated disadvantage evident, in particular, amongst mothers aged under 25, and lone parents."

Down our way : the relevance of neighbourhoods for parenting and child development

Barnes J
Chichester, England : John Wiley & Sons, c2007.
"The postcode lottery applies to more than the NHS; there are geographic disparities in a range of economic, health, social and academic outcomes. Where you live has relevance to the services available and to how well children do. This book presents the findings of the Families and Neighbourhoods Study, conducted in four contrasting locations in England, three of which are highly disadvantaged but one of which is affluent. It includes the views of a large number of parents who were asked about their neighbourhoods and how these influenced their lives and those of their children. The study gives an understanding of the extent and range of local friendships and other activities, membership in local groups, and what is valued or disliked in their neighbourhoods. More detailed interviews, with a smaller group of mothers, explore social networks and the type of support received (contrasting family and neighbours). They discuss in detail what the neighbourhood means to them, their fears for their children as they help them to explore and use neighbourhood facilities, and the strategies used to allow children to become independent and establish their own neighbourhood boundaries. 'Down Our Way' gives a unique evidence-based insight into neighbourhoods and parenting and effectively illustrates the influence of community on children and the family."

Families and communities: the context in which Australian children are growing up.

Hunter N
AIHW Access no. 23 May 2007 15-18
Social changes in Australia over the last 30 years mean that Australian children are growing up in a diverse range of family types. This paper draws on data from various ABS surveys and the HILDA survey to examine the implications of changing family and social environments for children's wellbeing and development. It presents national data on the family and community contexts in which Australian children up to the age of 14 are growing up and discusses how these contexts may influence their health and wellbeing. The paper discusses family structure, family functioning, economic security, parents with a disability or chronic illness, neighbourhood safety, and social capital.

Social inclusion and exclusion among Australia's children: a review of the literature.

Daly A
Bruce, ACT : National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, University of Canberra, 2006.
Child poverty increased in many OECD countries over the 1990s, and Australia is in the middle of the league table. This paper reviews the literature on: estimates of child poverty in Australia and other developed countries; the methodological issues of measuring social exclusion and results from Australia and other developed countries; and Australian and international evidence on the relationship between area of residence and social exclusion. Demographic factors such as the age of parents and family structure, labour market factors, and the tax and transfer system are important determinants of child poverty. Social exclusion can arise when children suffer from multiple disadvantages that make it difficult for them to actively participate in society. The social exclusion framework examines a broad range of indicators, including indicators of labour market status, educational attainment, housing status, health and social interaction. Neighbourhood effect appears to be less important than individual and family factors in determining disadvantage.

Does it take a village?

Edwards B
The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children 2005-06 annual report. Melbourne, Vic : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2006. 0642395446: 31-32
There is a large body of international research that documents neighbourhood influences on children's developmental outcomes. However, there are few studies of neighbourhood effects on Australian children. Using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, this chapter examines whether a measure of neighbourhood socio-economic advantage and disadvantage (SEIFA Index of Advantage/Disadvantage) is associated with 4-5 year old Australian children's physical, social/emotional and learning outcomes, even when controlling for several child and family socio-demographic factors.
Subscribe to