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Which neighborhood would you rather live in?


Low income families frequently live in disadvantaged neighborhoods characterized by few resources and high rates of unemployment, crime, and violence [4].

Poor young adolescents are more likely to reside in neighborhoods characterized by adverse physical and social environments and less likely to take advantage of outside social, recreational, and skill development activities than are non poor youth.  Lack of economic resources likely constrain parents residential choices and their ability to pay for fees and related materials required for youth to participate in neighborhood and school organizations or activities [5]

Living in disadvanted neighborhoods may influence youth depression indirectly by increasing parental distress or disrupting effective parenting practices [6].

Source: Health Canada website and Media Photo Gallery, Health Canada, Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2006.

Stress induced by exposure to neighborhood problems such as crime, violence, and deteriorating physical conditions, accompanied with lack of community resources, might contribute to youth depressive symptoms [5]

A growing body of research has documented that children and adolescents who live in poor neighborhoods do less well on a variety of developmental outcomes compared with peers from more advantaged neighborhoods [7], [8], [9].

Poor neighborhoods are often marked by pervasive crime and violence, low social cohesion, delinquent peer groups, and low-quality schools [8], [10], [11], [12].


4. Schubiner, H., Scott, R., and Tzelepis, A. (1993). Exposure to violence among inner-city youth. J. Adolesc. Health 14: 214-219.

5. Aneshensel, C. S., and Sucoff, C. A. (1996). The neighborhood context of adolescent mental health. J Health Soc. Behav. 37: 293-310.

6. Klebanov, P.K., Gordon, R. A., Brooks-Gunn, J., Duncan, G. J. (1997). Are neighborhood effects on young children mediated by features of the home environment. In (eds.), Neighborhood Poverty: Context and Consequences for Children, Vol. 1. Russell Sage Foundation, New York, NY.

7. Brooks-Gunn, J., Duncan, G. J., & Aber, J. L. (Eds.). (1997). Neighborhood poverty: Vol. 1. Context and consequences for children. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

8. Jencks, C., & Phillips, M. (Eds.). (1998). The Black–White test score gap. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.

9. Leventhal, T., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2000). The neighborhoods they live in: Effects of neighborhood residence upon child and adolescent outcomes. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 309–337.

10. Sampson, R. J. (1997). Collective regulation of adolescent misbehavior: Validation results from eighty Chicago neighborhoods. Journal of Adolescent Research, 12, 227–244.

11. Sampson, R. J., & Raudenbush, S. W. (1999). Systematic social observation of public spaces: A new look at disorder in urban neighborhoods. American Journal of Sociology, 105, 603–651.

12. Sampson, R. J., Raudenbush, S. W., & Earls, F. (1997). Neighborhoods and violent crime: A multilevel study of collective efficacy. Science, 277, 918–924.

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