Being poorer than the rest of the neighborhood : relative deprivation and problem behavior of youth
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According to the neighborhood effects hypothesis, there is a negative relation between neighborhood wealth and youth’s problem behavior. It is often assumed that there are more problems in deprived neighborhoods, but there are also reports of higher rates of behavioral problems in more affluent neighborhoods. Much of this literature does not take into account relative wealth. Our central question was whether the economic position of adolescents’ families, relative to the neighborhood in which they lived, was related to adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing problem behavior. We used longitudinal data for youth between 12–16 and 16–20 years of age, combined with population register data (N = 926; 55% females). We employ between-within models to account for time-invariant confounders, including parental background characteristics. Our findings show that, for adolescents, moving to a more affluent neighborhood was related to increased levels of depression, social phobia, aggression, and conflict with fathers and mothers. This could be indirect evidence for the relative deprivation mechanism, but we could not confirm this, and we did not find any gender differences. The results do suggest that future research should further investigate the role of individuals’ relative position in their neighborhood in order not to overgeneralize neighborhood effects and to find out for whom neighborhoods matter.
Nieuwenhuis , J , Van Ham , M , Yu , R , Branje , S , Meeus , W & Hooimeijer , P 2017 , ' Being poorer than the rest of the neighborhood : relative deprivation and problem behavior of youth ' Journal of Youth and Adolescence , vol 46 , no. 9 , pp. 1891-1904 . DOI: 10.1007/s10964-017-0668-6
Journal of Youth and Adolescence
© The Author(s) 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/ 2007-2013)/ERC Grant Agreement n. 615159 (ERC Consolidator Grant DEPRIVEDHOODS, Socio-spatial inequality, deprived neighbourhoods, and neighbourhood effects), from the Marie Curie programme under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013)/Career Integration Grant n. PCIG10-GA-2011- 303728 (CIG Grant NBHCHOICE
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