Family Structure, Residential Mobility, and Environmental Inequality

By Downey, Liam; Crowder, Kyle et al. | Journal of Marriage and Family, April 2017 | Go to article overview

Family Structure, Residential Mobility, and Environmental Inequality


Downey, Liam, Crowder, Kyle, Kemp, Robert J., Journal of Marriage and Family


During the past several decades, researchers have compiled an impressive body of evidence indicating not only that family structure plays a key role in shaping the life experiences and well-being of children and adults but also that the consequences of family structure persist throughout the life course (for reviews, see Haveman & Wolfe, 1995; Sigle-Rushton & McLanahan, 2004). Through its connection to economic resources, family-level processes, and neighborhood contexts, family status has been linked to children's risk of experiencing psychological distress (Jablonska & Lindberg, 2007), problem behavior (Hoffman, 2006), poor school performance (Aughinbaugh, Pierret, & Rothstein, 2001), and income instability in adulthood (Lang & Zagorsky, 2001). Similarly, single mothers are more likely than married parents to be exposed to neighborhood crime and social disorder that, in turn, are associated with elevated levels of strain, depression, and psychological distress (Ross, 2000; Ryan, Kalil, & Leininger, 2009), reduced access to monetary and housing assistance through kin and friendship networks (Turney & Harknett, 2010), and diminished economic well-being (Harknett, 2006; Henly, Danziger, & Offer, 2005).

Yet despite continued interest in understanding how family background affects the experiences and opportunities of children and adults, we still know relatively little about the link between family structure and the physical environment to which individuals and families are exposed. Notably, there is currently almost no research on the link between family structure and residential proximity and exposure to environmental pollutants, and what research is available (Downey, 2005a; Downey & Hawkins,

2008)relies on cross-sectional, aggregate-level data rather than on longitudinal, household-level data that would allow researchers to directly examine family structure differences in pollution proximity and exposure, assess the extent to which associations between family structure and neighborhood pollution are attributable to family-level socioeconomic and demographic factors, and investigate the argument that differential patterns of residential mobility represent a key mechanism through which environmental inequality is produced and maintained (Downey, 2005b; Hunter, White, Little, & Sutton, 2003).

This gap in the literature is particularly troubling in light of evidence that residential mobility plays a key role in producing and maintaining environmental racial inequality (Crowder & Downey, 2010; Downey, 2006b) and that living near pollution sources such as highways, factories, and hazardous waste sites directly and negatively affects health (Evans & Kantrowitz, 2002; Gee & Payne-Sturges, 2004), especially among children, for whom the negative health effects of pollution exposure are highly pronounced (Pastor, Sadd, & Morello-Frosch, 2004), and among single-parent families, which research suggests are more susceptible than other families to the potentially damaging health effects of neighborhood pollution (Christopher, 2005; Leininger & Ziol-Guest, 2008; Mather, 2010; McLanahan & Percheski, 2008; Williams & Collins, 1995; Williams & Mohammed, 2009).

Given the potential health effects of, and variation in vulnerability to, pollution determining whether single-mother and single-father families are disproportionately burdened by environmental hazards and isolating the factors that shape the distribution of families with children across neighborhoods of varying environmental quality represents an important public health challenge for environmental inequality, neighborhood effects, and family researchers. To begin addressing this critical challenge, this article directly examines both the association between family structure and neighborhood air pollution and the micro-level, residential mobility processes that likely lead to differential neighborhood air quality (differential pollution proximity) across family types. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Family Structure, Residential Mobility, and Environmental Inequality
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.