Neighbourhood level and individual level SES effects on child problem behaviour: A multilevel analysis

A.C. Kalff, M. Kroes, J.S.H. Vles, J.G.M. Hendriksen, F. J. M. Feron, J. Steyaert, T. M. C. B. van Zeben, J. Jolles, J. van Os*

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    Objective-This study explained whether neighbourhood level socioeconomic variables have are independent effect on reported child behaviour problems over and above the effect of individual level measures of socioeconomic status.Design and setting-Multilevel analysis of cross sectional survey data relating individual level child behavioural problems and parental measures of socioeconomic status with neighbourhood level measures of socioeconomic deprivation in the city of Maastricht, the Netherlands.Participants-Children born in the years 1990-1991 attending the second grade of normal kindergarten schools in the city of Maastricht, the Netherlands. Out of 1417 eligible 5-7 year olds, the parents of 734 children (51.8%) agreed to participate.Main results-Child behaviour problems were more frequent in families of low parental occupation and education (F=14.51, df 3, 721, p<0.001; F=12.20, df 3, 721, p<0.001, respectively) and in families living in deprived neighbourhoods (F=13.26, df 2, 722, p<0.001). Multilevel random effects regression analysis showed that the effect of neighbourhood level deprivation remained after adjustment for individual level socioeconomic status (B over three levels of deprivation: 1.36; 95%CI=0.28, 2.45).Conclusions-Living in a more deprived neighbourhood is associated with higher levels of child problem behaviour, irrespective of individual level socioeconomic status. The additional effect of the neighbourhood may be attributable to contextual variables such as the level of social cohesion among residents.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)246-250
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001

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