U.S. Housing Insecurity and the Health of Very Young Children

Diana Becker Cutts, Alan F. Meyers, Maureen M. Black, Patrick H. Casey, Mariana Chilton, John T. Cook, Joni Geppert, Stephanie Ettinger de Cuba, Timothy Heeren, Sharon Coleman, Ruth Rose-Jacobs, and Deborah A. Frank

August 2011

This study investigated the association between housing insecurity and the health of very young children. Researchers assessed food insecurity, child health status, developmental risk, weight, and housing insecurity for each child's household.  Indicators for housing insecurity were crowding and multiple moves. After adjusting for covariates, crowding was associated with household and child food insecurity compared with the securely housed, as were multiple moves .  Multiple moves were also associated with fair or poor child health, developmental risk, and lower weight-for-age scores.  Housing insecurity was associated with poor health, lower weight, and developmental risk among young children.  Researchers conclude that policies that decrease housing insecurity can promote the health of young children and should be a priority.

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