The Influence of Structural and Experiential Neighborhood Factors and Developmental Stage on the Antisocial Behavior of 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.