Effects of parental perception of neighbourhood deprivation and family environment characteristics on pro-social behaviours among 4-12 year old children

Renzaho, Andre M. N. and Karantzas, Gery 2010, Effects of parental perception of neighbourhood deprivation and family environment characteristics on pro-social behaviours among 4-12 year old children, Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 405-411.

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Title Effects of parental perception of neighbourhood deprivation and family environment characteristics on pro-social behaviours among 4-12 year old children
Author(s) Renzaho, Andre M. N.
Karantzas, Gery
Journal name Australian and New Zealand journal of public health
Volume number 34
Issue number 4
Start page 405
End page 411
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Place of publication Richmond, Vic.
Publication date 2010-08
ISSN 1326-0200
1753-6405
Keyword(s) prosocial behaviour
child behaviour difficulties
parental psychological distress
family functioning
neighbourhood environment.
Summary Objective : To assess the effect family environment stressors (e.g. poor family functioning and parental psychological distress) and neighbourhood environment on child prosocial behaviour (CPB) and child difficulty behaviour (CDB) among 4-to-12 year old children.

Methods : Analysis of the 2006 Victorian Child Health and Wellbeing Survey (VCHWS) dataset derived from a statewide cross-sectional telephone survey, with a final total sample of 3,370 children.

Results :
Only family functioning, parental psychological distress, child gender, and age were associated with CPB, explaining a total of 8% of the variance. Children from healthily functioning families and of parents without any psychological distress exhibited greater prosocial behaviours than those from poorly functioning families and of parents with mental health problems. Neighbourhood environment was not found to contribute to CPB. A total of eight variables were found to predict CDB, explaining a total of 16% of the variance. Poor family and parental psychological functioning as well as poor access to public facilities in the neighbourhood were associated with conduct problems in children.

Conclusion :
Our results point to the importance of the family environment in providing a context that fosters the development of empathic, caring and responsible children; and in buffering children in exhibiting behaviour difficulties during the formative years of life. Programs aimed at promoting prosocial behaviours in children need to target stressors on the family environment.
Language eng
Field of Research 111714 Mental Health
Socio Economic Objective 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30029828

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