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Jeannette Manger


The correlation between socioeconomic status (SES) and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) with mental and behavioral health problems is well documented, however the connection between neighborhood safety and mental and behavioral health problems is not well understood. This study analyzes the impact of neighborhood safety on childhood mental and behavioral health outcomes. Data collected by the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) was used for this study and statistically analyzed using IBM SPSS software. A strong connection was found between poverty level and childhood mental and behavioral health outcomes, where those who were more impoverished had higher percentages of children experiencing mental and behavioral health problems, as well as less access to care than those who had higher SES status. In addition, children reported a higher prevalence of mental and behavioral health problems when the perceived level of neighborhood safety decreased. Interestingly, adults with higher levels of education reported feeling less safe in their neighborhoods. Additionally, children with more than one ACE reported receiving less care than children with one ACE. These findings show the impact that neighborhood safety has on a child’s mental and behavioral health, while also providing an area for early intervention and prevention of childhood mental health disorders.