What is it about?

The study reported that the negative effects of neighborhood disadvantage can be observed in rural contexts and that family processes, specifically parental communication and arguing in front of youth, exert a protective effect. In other words, parental communication buffers against the negative influence of neighborhood disadvantage on youth delinquent behavior.

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Why is it important?

Using a randomized experimental design, the current results extend prior observations to a rural context and show that erosive effects of neighborhood disadvantage and protective effects of family appear to operate as hypothesized in the rural context as well.


Because African American adolescents from disadvantaged rural areas experience significant challenges that typically affect the development of delinquent behaviors, it is important to see if the erosive effects of neighborhood disadvantage observed in urban settings can be generalized to rural areas. Besides, we found that better interparental communication and less family conflict serve as protective mechanisms against the adoption of delinquent behaviors by youth

Dr Man Kit Lei
University of Georgia

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Can We Uncouple Neighborhood Disadvantage and Delinquent Behaviors? An Experimental Test of Family Resilience Guided by the Social Disorganization Theory of Delinquent Behaviors, Family Process, February 2020, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/famp.12527.
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