Communities, Neighborhoods, and Housing

  • Anilena MejiaEmail author


Family processes and child development unfold in a physical context. Research suggests that housing quality, community services, and neighborhood characteristics shape parenting practices and child cognitive, emotional, and behavioral development. In the present chapter, main theoretical frameworks recognizing the influence of the environment on parenting and child development are presented. Among them, is the Ecological Systems Theory proposed by Urie Bronfenbrenner in 1979. Several empirical studies have also demonstrated that contextual factors, such as noise level, crowding, poverty levels, and residential stability, impact children and their families. In this chapter, this evidence is reviewed from a critical perspective, recognizing its strengths and limitations. The chapter finishes with a discussion on the directions for future research and the implications of current evidence for policy and practice. It is concluded that investing in the implementation of interventions to prompt adequate housing and positive networks in neighborhoods and communities is key for human development.


Parenting Child development Housing Communities Neighborhoods 



The authors declare that they have no disclosure.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Servicios de Alta Tecnología (INDICASAT AIP)Panama CityPanama

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