Neighborhood poverty and children's exposure to danger: Examining gender differences in impacts of the Moving to Opportunity experiment
ABSTRACT The Moving to Opportunity (MTO) program offered public housing residents in distressed communities a chance to move to low-poverty neighborhoods. The present study examined whether the resulting decline in neighborhood poverty led to lower levels of exposure to danger among children and youth ages 8-19years old (n=4606), and specifically, if there was a gender difference that matched the pattern of more beneficial program effects for girls and more adverse affects for boys. The study goes beyond previous research by using fixed effects to control for family factors that may influence moving behavior and confound estimates of gender differences in program impacts. Results showed that children experienced a decline in exposure to danger, with one key gender difference. Models based on brother-sister comparisons indicated that MTO had a more beneficial impact on exposure to drug activity for females than males. The findings suggest that neighborhood poverty is tied to children's exposure to danger. Moreover, exposure to drug activity may help explain the gender differences in impacts on children's mental health and risky behavior.
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- "A few studies have identified how neighborhood characteristics influence youth behavior. The condition of neighborhoods has been shown to impact children's mental health and risk behaviors (Zuberi, 2012). Westley et al. (2013) found that the perceptions of parents regarding neighborhood safety can influence their children's health behavior, specifically related to their use of parks, active transportation to parks and screen time. "
ABSTRACT: Drawing on qualitative data generated from an ethnographic study exploring Canadian youth's understanding of health, this paper examines youth's perspectives of the relationships between health and environment. Seventy-one youth (12 to 19 years of age) took part in individual and focus group interviews, as well as in photovoice interviews. Although initial discourse about health mainly focused on healthy eating and exercise, youth were more enthused and able to share their thoughts and feelings about the relationships between health and environment during the photovoice interviews. For these youth, good health was defined and visualized as "being outside" in a safe, clean, green, and livable space. Youth talked about conditions contributing to healthy environments and how healthy environments contributed to a strong sense of place. Overall, the conversations about the environment evoked many feelings in the youth. Results are discussed in the context of current research and in relation to youth, but also more broadly in relation to research on health and environment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Health & Place 12/2014; 31C:100-110. DOI:10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.11.008 · 2.44 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Ecologic and cross-sectional multilevel analyses suggest that characteristics of the places where people live influence their vulnerability to HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). Using data from a predominately substance-misusing cohort of African-American adults relocating from US public housing complexes, this multilevel longitudinal study tested the hypothesis that participants who experienced greater post-relocation improvements in economic disadvantage, violent crime, and male:female sex ratios would experience greater reductions in perceived partner risk and in the odds of having a partner who had another partner (i.e., indirect concurrency). Baseline data were collected from 172 public housing residents before relocations occurred; three waves of post-relocation data were collected every 9 months. Participants who experienced greater improvements in community violence and in economic conditions experienced greater reductions in partner risk. Reduced community violence was associated with reduced indirect concurrency. Structural interventions that decrease exposure to violence and economic disadvantage may reduce vulnerability to HIV/STIs.AIDS and Behavior 08/2014; 19(6). DOI:10.1007/s10461-014-0883-z · 3.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Adolescents from low-income families face various opportunities and constraints as they develop, with possible ramifications for their well-being. Two contexts of particular importance are the home and the neighborhood. Using adolescent data from the first two waves of the Three-City Study (N = 1,169), this study explored associations among housing problems and neighborhood disorder with adolescents' socioemotional problems, and how these associations varied by parental monitoring and gender. Results of hierarchical linear models suggest that poor-quality housing was most predictive of the functioning of girls and of adolescents with restrictive curfews, whereas neighborhood disorder was a stronger predictor for boys. Implications for future research on associations between housing and neighborhood contexts and adolescent development are discussed.Journal of Research on Adolescence 11/2014; DOI:10.1111/jora.12183 · 1.99 Impact Factor