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Article

The Relationship between Neighborhood Environment and Child Mental Health in Japanese Elementary School Students

1
Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan
2
Faculty of Health Care, Tenri Health Care University, Tenri 632-0018, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5491; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155491
Received: 8 July 2020 / Revised: 20 July 2020 / Accepted: 27 July 2020 / Published: 29 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Factors, Children’s Health and Safety)
Limited research has examined the relationship between neighborhood environment and mental health outcomes in elementary school students (middle childhood). In countries with high relative poverty, little is known about how neighborhood conditions are related to children’s health after controlling for family socioeconomic status; thus, it is necessary to distinguish the particular neighborhood characteristics relevant to behavioral risk in children, independent of socioeconomic position. Using a self-report survey completed by parents, we assessed neighborhood environment characteristics, children’s behavioral outcomes, and family socioeconomic status in fourth grade students from Nagoya, in Aichi prefecture, Japan (n = 695). A multiple linear regression was conducted to evaluate to what extent neighborhood characteristics predict child behaviors, after adjusting for socioeconomic variables. Greater aesthetic quality, walkability, accessibility of healthy foods, safety, and social cohesion were inversely linked to children’s behavioral problems and positively linked to social competence, suggesting that quality of living environment may affect behavioral outcomes in children, even after controlling for socioeconomic factors. Developing a quality environment that matches these characteristics may minimize the negative impact of a family’s socioeconomic distress and is likely to aid socioeconomically disadvantaged parents and their children. Thus, policies and programs that enhance the neighborhood environment for socioeconomically disadvantaged families should be promoted. View Full-Text
Keywords: neighborhood environment; child mental health; behavioral problems; prosocial behavior; elementary school students; middle childhood; socioeconomic status neighborhood environment; child mental health; behavioral problems; prosocial behavior; elementary school students; middle childhood; socioeconomic status
MDPI and ACS Style

Hosokawa, R.; Katsura, T. The Relationship between Neighborhood Environment and Child Mental Health in Japanese Elementary School Students. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5491. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155491

AMA Style

Hosokawa R, Katsura T. The Relationship between Neighborhood Environment and Child Mental Health in Japanese Elementary School Students. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(15):5491. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155491

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hosokawa, Rikuya, and Toshiki Katsura. 2020. "The Relationship between Neighborhood Environment and Child Mental Health in Japanese Elementary School Students" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 15: 5491. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155491

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