Adverse Housing Conditions and Early-Onset Delinquency

Dylan B. Jackson, Jamie Newsome, Kellie R. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Housing constitutes an important health resource for children. Research has revealed that, when housing conditions are unfavorable, they can interfere with child health, academic performance, and cognition. Little to no research, however, has considered whether adverse housing conditions and early-onset delinquency are significantly associated with one another. This study explores the associations between structural and non-structural housing conditions and delinquent involvement during childhood. Data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS) were employed in this study. Each adverse housing condition was significantly associated with early-onset delinquency. Even so, disarray and deterioration were only significantly linked to early delinquent involvement in the presence of health/safety hazards. The predicted probability of early-onset delinquency among children exposed to housing risks in the presence of health/safety hazards was nearly three times as large as the predicted probability of early-onset delinquency among children exposed only to disarray and/or deterioration, and nearly four times as large as the predicted probability of early-onset delinquency among children exposed to none of the adverse housing conditions. The findings suggest that minimizing housing-related health/safety hazards among at-risk subsets of the population may help to alleviate other important public health concerns—particularly early-onset delinquency. Addressing household health/safety hazards may represent a fruitful avenue for public health programs aimed at the prevention of early-onset delinquency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-174
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Volume60
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Children
  • Conduct problems
  • Deterioration
  • Disarray
  • Health/safety hazards
  • Housing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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