Design moderators of residential interior crowding and chronic physiological stress among children



Chronic crowding within housing adversely affects psychological well-being, yet little is known about how design attributes contribute to these effects, especially among children. This cross-sectional study first examined associations between residential interior density and children’s (M = 9 years of age) perceived bedroom and home crowding. Second, analyses investigated whether interior design attributes (residential floor plan arrangement measured by space syntax [depth and permeability]; bedroom ceiling height, volume, and window area) buffer negative effects of perceived crowding on multimethodological indices of child development, including psychological distress, learned helplessness, and physiological stress. After adjusting for home type, clutter, income, gender, and age, interior density was significantly associated with perceived home and bedroom crowding. Regression results suggested that bedroom ceiling height was associated with reduced negative effects of home, but not bedroom, perceived crowding on blood pressure, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and allostatic load among participants who reported higher levels of perceived crowding.


Attribute NameValues
  • Kimberly Rollings

  • Gary Evans

Journal or Work Title
  • Environment & Behavior

  • 51

  • 5

First Page
  • 590

Last Page
  • 621

Publication Date
  • 2019

  • environmental psychology

  • Sage

Date Created
  • 2019-05-16

Bibliographic Citation
  • English

Departments and Units
Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Digital Object Identifier


This DOI is the best way to cite this article.