Parents’ Perceptions of the Neighbourhood Built Environment Are Associated with the Social and Emotional Development of Young Children

Trina Robinson, Andrea Nathan, Kevin Murray, Hayley Christian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The influence of the neighbourhood built environment on young children’s physical development has been well-documented; however, there is limited empirical evidence of an association with social and emotional development. Parental perceptions of the neighbourhood built environment may act as facilitators or barriers to young children’s play and interactions in their local environment. The aim of this study was to examine the associations between parents’ perceptions of the neighbourhood built environment and the social-emotional development of children aged two-to-five years. Parents’ positive perceptions of traffic safety (OR 0.74; 95% CI 0.55, 0.98), crime safety (OR 0.79; 95% CI 0.64, 0.99) and land use mix–access (OR 0.74; 95% CI 0.56, 0.98) were associated with lower odds of social-emotional difficulties, while positive perceptions of walking and cycling facilities were associated with higher odds of difficulties (OR 1.26; 95% CI 1.02, 1.55). Positive perceptions of land use mix–access (OR 1.32; 95% CI 1.03, 1.69), street connectivity (OR 1.35; 95% CI 1.10, 1.66) and neighbourhood aesthetics (OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.01, 1.60) were associated with higher odds of prosocial behaviours. Interventions to improve parents’ perceptions of built environment features may facilitate opportunities for play and interactions which contribute to healthy social-emotional development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6476
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

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