Effects of neighborhood resources on aggressive and delinquent behaviors among urban youths

Am J Public Health. 2008 Jun;98(6):1086-93. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2006.098913. Epub 2007 Sep 27.


Objectives: We sought to identify neighborhood-level resources associated with lower levels of aggression and delinquency among youths aged 9-15 years at baseline after accounting for risk factors and other types of resources.

Methods: Data were derived from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, which focused on 2226 ethnically diverse, urban youths, their caregivers, and the 80 neighborhoods in which they resided at baseline.

Results: Living in a neighborhood with a higher concentration of organizations or services serving young people and adults was associated with lower levels of aggression (odds ratio [OR]=0.9; 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.8, 1.0); living in such a neighborhood also moderated family, peer, and mentor resources. For example, the presence of well-behaved peers was associated with lower levels of aggression among youths living in neighborhoods where the concentration of organizations and services was at least 1 standard deviation above the mean; the association was less strong among youths living in neighborhoods with organizations and services 1 standard deviation below the mean or less.

Conclusions: Certain family, peer, and mentoring resources may confer benefits only in the presence of neighborhood resources. Increasing neighborhood resources should be considered in interventions designed to reduce urban youths' involvement in violence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Aggression*
  • Chicago
  • Child
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Juvenile Delinquency*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mentors
  • Odds Ratio
  • Peer Group
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Environment*
  • Urban Population