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Neighborhood Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Child Development Trajectory: Longitudinal Approach Merging National Surveys and Census Datasets

Research Team

Principal Investigator: Evan Choi

Funding Information

Funding Agency: Office of Research and Economic Development Research Council: Faculty Seed Grants

Award Date: Jan 1, 2019

End Date: Dec 31, 2019


To understand and positively affect children’s development, it is necessary to consider a broad range of factors at multiple levels — for example, the child's immediate surroundings and home environment, interaction with the systems outside the home, their school and neighborhood, and more. Data about these factors exists, but their use has not been maximized because it exists in soloed datasets and for longitudinal studies in particular, statistical modeling to date has not effectively addressed time-varying environmental factors. 

This study addresses the gap by combining a broad range of national survey datasets and community profiles from the U.S. Census to extend the current knowledge of the mechanisms underlying home, school and neighborhood environments, and children’s developmental outcomes.
Guided by these theories and evidence, the project uses a longitudinal assessment of the mechanisms underlying neighborhood disadvantage effects on children’s health, behavior and cognitive development trajectories from early childhood (age 3), to preschool (age 5), to school age (age 9), and to adolescence (age 15). 
Using multilevel latent growth modeling, this study will estimate the effects of neighborhood disadvantage on child outcomes, after controlling for the confounding effects of home and school environments as mediator and moderator.

Social, Emotional and Behavioral Well-being, Early Childhood Education and Development

Evan Choi, professor of social work at California Baptist University and former children and poverty Extension specialist in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies.
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