Home Ownership and the Emotional and Behavioral Problems of Children and Youth

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Abstract

This study examined the impact of home ownership on the emotional–behavioral problems of children and youth ages 4 to 16 years. Data came from two large-scale general population surveys conducted in the province of Ontario in 1983, the Ontario Child Health Study (N= 3,325) and the National Longitudinal Study of Children and Youth (N= 12,592). Results showed an inverse association between home ownership and ratings of emotional–behavioral problems. The net effects of home ownership expressed in standard units dropped from the .20 to .43 range for teacher and parent ratings to the .07 to .17 range, after controlling for socioeconomic variables. Furthermore, the concentration of home ownership in neighborhoods was not associated with ratings of child problem behavior in either study. Projects aimed at supporting home ownership among low-income families may provide a means for improving the emotional and behavioral functioning of disadvantaged children.

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