Long-term Effects of Neighborhood Poverty and Crime on Negative Self-Feelings

Heili Pals, Texas A&M University
Howard B. Kaplan, Texas A&M University

This paper analyzes the long-term effects of neighborhood poverty and crime on young adults’ negative self-feelings. First, we establish a longitudinal link between neighborhood context in adolescence and adult negative self-feelings (NSF). Second, we demonstrate the importance of the incongruence between neighborhood and individual characteristics for the development of NSF. Third, we analyze how the effect of neighborhood crime on adult NSF depends on the neighborhood economic conditions. We employ longitudinal study of Young Adults following a generation of young people mainly in Houston area. We measure neighborhood contexts during the adolescence and in young adulthood both through respondents’ self-perception and by using US Census data. Preliminary results show the highest NSF for those respondents who are from lower social class but live in an affluent neighborhood. Also, the effect of crime in neighborhood on NSF is stronger in an affluent neighborhood than in neighborhoods with economic problems.

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Presented in Session 122: Neighborhoods and Health