Journal of Housing and the Built Environment

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 177–189 | Cite as

Housing quality and childrenȁ9s socioemotional health

  • Robert Gifford
  • Cécile Lacombe
Original paper


This study examined whether the socioemotional health of children 9–12 years old is related to the physical quality of their residence and neighborhood. The study included 95 children from households with a wide range of incomes in a medium-sized anglophone and a medium-sized francophone Canadian city. Each childȁ9s socioemotional health was assessed and the quality of each childȁ9s housing was assessed on up to 309 aspects of the residence and immediate neighborhood, based on walk-throughs and interviews with the parents in the residences. The childrenȁ9s socioemotional health, as assessed by their parents, was worse when the physical condition of their residenceȁ9s interior, exterior, and immediate neighborhood was worse. This relation remained significant after controlling for household income, parental education and mental health status, the childȁ9s gender, and time lived in the residence. Furthermore, none of these five factors moderated the relation, evidence for its robustness.


Children Socioemotional health Physical housing quality 


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The authors gratefully acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Erin Dunne and Nikta Aghaipour, without whom this project could not have been completed, and that of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for its financial support of the project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  2. 2.Université LavalQuebecCanada

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