The effects of housing insecurity on children’s health: a scoping review

Bess, K. D., Miller, A. L., & Mehdipanah, R. (2023). The effects of housing insecurity on children’s health: a scoping review. Health promotion international, 38(3), daac006.


There is a well-established connection between housing conditions and children’s health. However, little is known on how housing insecurity indicators including, multiple moves, being behind on rent/mortgage, doubling up and crowding, affect child health. The purpose of this paper is to identify how pathways of association between housing insecurity and health may become established during childhood, using evidence from the literature. Using the Joanna Briggs Institute framework for scoping reviews, a search was conducted using key terms associated with housing insecurity and health among children. Twenty-seven articles were included in the review. Forty-six outcomes related to child health were identified throughout the articles. Physical health was the most commonly examined outcome in these articles. Multiple moves was the most common housing insecurity indicator associated with health. This review identified multiple studies showing negative associations between housing insecurity and poorer health-related indicators among children. Results from this review provide important information on the implication of certain housing insecurity indicators for children’s health. Although housing is increasingly recognized as a social determinant of health, it may be particularly important to go beyond physical housing conditions to consider and measure housing insecurity in future work, as a key social determinant shaping health in pediatric populations.

Keywords: children; housing; social determinants of health.