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Overcrowding in the Home: An Empirical Investigation of Its Possible Pathological Consequences

Walter R. Gove, Michael Hughes and Omer R. Galle
American Sociological Review
Vol. 44, No. 1 (Feb., 1979), pp. 59-80
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094818
Page Count: 22
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Overcrowding in the Home: An Empirical Investigation of Its Possible Pathological Consequences
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Abstract

Several recent studies have suggested that, contrary to investigators' initial expectations, household crowding typically has little impact on humans. Using a sample collected in Chicago which minimized the collinearity between crowding and socioeconomic variables, we find that both objective crowding (as measured by persons per room) and subjective crowding (as indicated by (1) excessive social demands and (2) a lack of privacy) are strongly related to poor mental health, poor social relationships in the home and poor child care; and are less strongly, but significantly related to poor physical health, and to poor social relationships outside the home. Furthermore, these three crowding variables taken together, on the average, uniquely explain as much (and with many indicators, more) variance in our dependent variables as is uniquely explained by the combined effects of sex, race, education, income, age, and marital status. It is suggested that attention be turned away from the question of whether crowding ever has effects to the study of factors which maximize or minimize its effects.

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