A Geography of Opportunity Framework for Child Development

Dolores Acevedo Garcia, Lindsay E Rosenfeld, Nancy McArdle, Theresa L Osypuk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


As they develop, children are influenced not only by their immediate family environment but also by their neighborhood and school environment. These three environments, family, neighborhoods and schools, offer children opportunities and challenges for healthy development. This framework of multiple influences on child development though is missing distributional aspects, specifically that there is a geography of opportunity structure that systematically patterns how children of various racial/ethnic groups come to reside in different family, neighborhood and school environments. This chapter links the research on child development with research on how neighborhoods and schools affect child health/development, with attention to these distributional questions. We examine how processes of residential and school segregation result in systematic racial/ethnic differences in this child opportunity structure. We conclude by examining available policy options for addressing racial/ethnic inequity in the child opportunity structure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChanging Places: How communities will improve the health of boys of color
EditorsChristopher Edley, Jorge Ruiz de Velasco
Place of PublicationBerkeley, CA
PublisherUniversity of California Press
StatePublished - 2010


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