OBJECTIVE: To describe the frequency of four-to-five-year-old children in a birth cohort from Pelotas, RS,
Brazil, under risk for negative environments, and to identify wich the posible risk factors are.
DESIGN: Prospective populational study.
SUBJECTS: 630 children from the 1993 birth cohort, living in the urban area of Pelotas, southern Brazil.
OUTCOME: Environmental quality.
MAIN FINDINGS: It was found that among the 630 children studied, 15%(n=97) are living in negative
environments for their development. eight risk factors were found to influence environment, such as low family
monthly income; low mother schooling; male children; more than seven people living in the same home;
children sleeping with their parents by the age of four; presence of minor psychiatric disorders in mother.
CONCLUSION: The existence of unfavorable environmental conditions for the child´s developmental may
be determined by various factors. To identify the risk factors wich these children are exposed to will help to
orient the priorities of intervention in child development programs.
KEY WORDS: Environmental quality, risk factors, child development.|