Carnegie Mellon University

Childhood Environment


SC Places You’ve Lived Interview (PLI)  



Copyright Information

Not a copyrighted scale

Primary Reference



To assess the physical and social conditions of participants’ neighborhoods when they were 5, 10 and 15 years of age.


By responding to a set of 16 questions that included open-ended, yes/no, and scaled-response items, participants described the place(s) in which they lived during childhood and adolescence.  The 16 items were repeated (as a set) three times, with reference to when participants were 5, 10, and 15 years of age, respectively.

The choice of items to include in the PLI was informed by the research demonstrating detrimental effects of negative physical and psychological environmental exposures during childhood and adolescence on adult health outcomes (Cohen et al., 2010).  Accordingly, as shown in Table 1, most items are scaled so that higher scores indicate greater exposure to adverse conditions.


Number of Items

16 per reference age; 48 total


Not available.


The PLI was designed to assess three domains of childhood/adolescent neighborhood environment:  physical conditions, social atmosphere, and safety.  We have not yet conducted sufficient analyses, however, to determine whether the intended 3-factor structure provides a good fit to the actual data.  Thus, we offer no scoring algorithms at this time.

Additional Reference

Cohen, S., Janicki-Deverts, D., Chen, E., & Matthews, K. A. (2010). Childhood socioeconomic status and adult health. In N. Adler & J. Stewart (Eds.), The biology of disadvantage (pp. 37-55). New York: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.