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Open AccessArticle

Local Housing Characteristics Associated with Early Childhood Development Outcomes in Australian Disadvantaged Communities

1
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, 50 Flemington Road, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
2
Centre for Urban Research, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
3
Centre for Community Child Health, Royal Children’s Hospital, 50 Flemington Road, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
4
National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM), University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
5
Social Policy Research Centre, the University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia
6
Fraser Mustard Centre, Telethon Kids Institute, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
7
School of Population Health, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
8
University of Southern Queensland, Darling Heights, QLD 4350, Australia
9
Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(10), 1719; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101719
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 7 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 16 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Inequalities in Children)
Disadvantaged communities tend to have poorer early childhood development outcomes. Access to safe, secure, and stable housing is a well-known social determinant of health but there is a need to examine key features of neighbourhood housing that reduce early childhood development inequities. The 2012 Australian Early Development Census (AEDC), a population-wide measure of early childhood development, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics Socio-economic Index for Areas Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage were used to select fourteen disadvantaged local communities in five Australian states and territories based on those performing better (off-diagonal), or as expected (on-diagonal) on the AEDC relative to their socio-economic profile. Between 2015–2017, qualitative and quantitative housing data were collected in the local communities. In total, 87 interviews with stakeholders, 30 focus groups with local service providers and parents, and Australian Census dwelling information were analysed. A comparative case study approach was used to examine differences in housing characteristics (e.g., public housing, density, affordability, and tenure) between disadvantaged local communities performing ‘better than expected’ and ‘as expected’ on early childhood development. Perceived better housing affordability, objectively measured housing tenure (ownership) and perceived and objectively measured lower-density public housing were housing characteristics that emerged as points of difference for disadvantaged local communities where children had relatively better early childhood development outcomes. These characteristics are potential modifiable and policy sensitive housing levers for reducing early childhood development inequities. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban planning; neighbourhood; community; early childhood development; family; mixed methods; inequity; housing urban planning; neighbourhood; community; early childhood development; family; mixed methods; inequity; housing
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Villanueva, K.; Badland, H.; Tanton, R.; Katz, I.; Brinkman, S.; Lee, J.-L.; Woolcock, G.; Giles-Corti, B.; Goldfeld, S. Local Housing Characteristics Associated with Early Childhood Development Outcomes in Australian Disadvantaged Communities. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1719.

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