Associations between socio-economic status and unfavorable social indicators of child wellbeing; a neighbourhood level data design

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Abstract

Background: Living in deprivation is related to ill health. Differences in health outcomes between neighbourhoods may be attributed to neighbourhood socio-economic status (SES). Additional to differences in health, neighbourhood differences in child wellbeing could also be attributed to neighbourhood SES. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the association between neighbourhood deprivation, and social indicators of child wellbeing. Methods: Aggregated data from 3565 neigh-bourhoods in 390 municipalities in the Netherlands were eligible for analysis. Neighbourhood SES scores and neighbourhood data on social indicators of child wellbeing were used to perform repeated measurements, with one year measurement intervals, over a period of 11 years. Linear mixed models were used to estimate the associations between SES score and the proportion of unfavorable social indicators of child wellbeing. Results: After adjustment for year, population size, and clustering within neighbourhoods and within a municipality, neighbourhood SES was inversely associated with the proportion of ‘children living in families on welfare’ (estimates with two cubic splines: −3.59 [CI: −3.99; −3.19], and −3.00 [CI: −3.33; −2.67]), ‘delinquent youth’ (esti-mate −0.26 [CI: −0.30; −0.23]) and ‘unemployed youth’ (estimates with four cubic splines: −0.41 [CI: −0.57; −0.25], −0.58 [CI: −0.73; −0.43], −1.35 [−1.70; −1.01], and −0.96 [1.24; −0.70]). Conclu-sions: In this study using repeated measurements, a lower neighbourhood SES was significantly associated with a higher prevalence of unfavorable social indicators of child wellbeing. This con-tributes to the body of evidence that neighbourhood SES is strongly related to child health and a child’s ability to reach its full potential in later life. Future studies should consist of larger longitudinal datasets, potentially across countries, and should attempt to take the interpersonal variation into account with more individual-level data on SES and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12661
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

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