The Conseouences of Crowding on Children

  • Chalsa M. Loo
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 10)


A series of studies was conducted to investigate the effects of density on childen and to determine whether there were differential effects of density on various person characteristics (age, sex, personal space preferences, and level of behavioral normalcy). The statistical procedures used, which incorporated factor analyses and multivariate analysis of variance, provided a more comprehensive analysis of the effects of density. Negative effects of density were significant for 5year-old children and greater than effects for 10-year-old boys, suggesting that negative consequences of crowding are greatest for younger children. Among 5-yearolds, there was more Negative Affect-Aggression, more Desire-to-Leave-a-Crowded-Room, and less Activity-Toy Play in the small room than in the large room (spatial-density comparisons). There was more Activity-Aggression-Anger, more Distress-and-Fear, more Negative Feelings, and less Positive Interaction among the 8-person groups of children than among the 4-person groups of children (social-density comparisons). The activity level of “hyperactive’ children was intensified in the high-density condition whereas no effect of density on activity level was found for normal children. High-anxiety and impulsive children were emotionally distressed by high density; low-anxiety and high-motorinhibitors, in contrast, reacted to high density with adaptive, coping behaviors rather than with emotional displyas of distress. Differential effects of density on sex and on personal space were found for some factors.


Density Condition Negative Feeling Personal Space Crowded Condition Density Interaction 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chalsa M. Loo
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA

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