The purpose of this study was to examine the role of neighborhood disadvantage and perceptions of neighborhood on the development of aggressive behavior among a sample of urban low-income African American middle school aged youth (mean age = 11.65 years). Results of hierarchical linear modeling indicated that youth experienced significant changes in rates of aggression across the three middle school years, and that on average, negative youth perceptions of neighborhood predicted increases in aggression. Both parent and youth perceptions of neighborhood disadvantage trended toward significance as a moderator between objective neighborhood characteristics and aggression. These results are in accordance with past research, which suggests that personal evaluations of the disadvantage of a neighborhood influence child development and behavior. Future studies should examine the role that perceptions play in youth development, as well as in interventions geared towards thwarting youth aggression.
- African American youth
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Applied Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health