UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Understanding the Influence of Community-Level Determinants on Children’s Social and Emotional Well-Being: A Systems Science and Participatory Approach Poon, Brenda T.; Atchison, Chris, 1971-; Kwan, Amanda


Healthy social and emotional development and longer-term outcomes for children are shaped by factors across the multiple levels (micro, meso, exo, macro) of a child’s environment. By employing a novel systems science and participatory approach, we were able to co-produce a series of causal loop diagrams that detail the complex relationships between variables operating at the community or neighborhood environment level (e.g., features of the built environment such as: housing type, access, availability, and location; parks and greenspace, facilities such as community services, and other service infrastructure such as transit), and highlight the individual and collective impacts these relationships can have on the subsystem surrounding a child’s social and emotional well-being. Our approach provides a unique lens of knowledge through which communities can identify key leverage points for action and (re)design of community spaces, practices, and policy.

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CC BY 4.0