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Adding Health Measures to the Housing and Children’s Healthy Development Study

Associate Name: Sandra J. Newman

Funding Source/Period of the Grant: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 07/01/16-06/30/18

Project Description

Housing and Children’s Healthy Development Study (HCHD), is an exciting study with innovative design features and methodologies. It seeks to explore issues related to the constraints faced by low income parents, particularly when they seek housing, and determine their effects on children’s development. In many cases, low income parents will face tradeoffs between dwelling unit quality, neighborhood quality, and school quality. This project has four main aims: 1) to clarify how aspects of dwelling unit quality, neighborhood quality, and local school quality combine to influence the cost of housing accessible to families of below median income; 2) to assess how qualities of dwelling units, neighborhoods, and schools combine to contribute to key cognitive, socioemotional, and health outcomes among children; 3) to learn how parents make choices about where to live; and 4) to enhance the study of child development through theoretical and methodological advances in the study of housing and the other social contexts related to it. The study is coordinated by Dr. Sandra “Sandee” Newman at Johns Hopkins University and Dr. Tama Leventhal at Tufts University.

Survey Research Operations will conduct two waves of data collection with families in Seattle, Dallas, and Cleveland. In-person interviews will be completed with approximately 1,686 parents/guardians, and approximately 2,328 children, aged 3 to 10. Half of the households will come from local housing authority lists and half will be generated by random screening in selected neighborhoods located in census blocks with household incomes at or below the area median income. Adult interviews will take approximately 75 minutes and child sessions will take approximately 45 minutes. Among the innovative measures that will be administered as part of this study, we will measure room sizes using a laser tape measure, observe and code parent-child interactions, and attempt to take dried blood spots from eligible children. Main data collection is expected to begin spring 2017.

Photo: “Children” by Alex Pangestu is licensed under CC BY 2.0