Structural and experiential neighborhood contexts, developmental stage, and antisocial behavior among urban adolescents in poverty
This study explored the effects of structural and experiential neighborhood factors and developmental stage on antisocial behavior, among a sample of poor urban adolescents in New York City. Conceptually and empirically distinct profiles of neighborhood experience were derived from the data, based on measures of perceived neighborhood cohesion, poverty-related hassles, and involvement in neighborhood organizations and activities. Both the profiles of neighborhood experience and a measure of census-tract-level neighborhood hazard (poverty and violence) showed relationships to antisocial behavior. Contrary to expectation, higher levels of antisocial behavior were reported among adolescents residing in moderate-structural-risk neighborhoods than those in high-structural-risk neighborhoods. This effect held only for teens in middle (not early) adolescence and was stronger for teens perceiving their neighborhoods as hassling than for those who did not. Implications for future research and preventive intervention are discussed.
c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Edward Seidman, Adolescent Pathways Project, Center for Community Research and Action, Psychology Department, New York University, 6 Washington Place, MC #1017, New York, NY 10003; E-mail: seidman@psych. nyu.edu.