No neighborhood is an island: incorporating distal neighborhood effects into multilevel studies of child developmental competence

Health Place. 2007 Dec;13(4):788-98. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2007.01.006. Epub 2007 Mar 26.


The purpose of this study was to examine whether incorporating information regarding neighborhoods which were more distal to the child's neighborhood added any explanatory power to models of child cognitive competence. Participants included a sample of young African-American children living in an urban setting in the northeast United States. Spatial geographic methods were used to estimate the concentration of economic disadvantage, population instability, and crime in the neighborhoods surrounding the child's residence, and multilevel modeling methods were used to estimate the contribution of these factors to between-neighborhood variance in child cognitive scores. Results indicated that the conditions of distal neighborhoods were related to cognitive scores among the preschooler-age children in this sample.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans
  • Baltimore
  • Child Development*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition*
  • Crime
  • Female
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Poverty
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Social Class*
  • Urban Population
  • Vulnerable Populations