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Am Psychol. 1998 Jun;53(6):635-46.

Children in low-income, urban settings. Interventions to promote mental health and well-being.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201, USA.


Urbanization provides unique political, cultural, economic, and educational opportunities for children and families. However, it may also have a negative impact on the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents, particularly when they are exposed to settings with high rates of crime, violence, delinquency, substance use, abuse, and poverty. Psychologists are well suited to intervene in problems associated with urbanization. However, most psychological services have been directed toward children who are experiencing problems, and there has been less focus on population-based or preemptive interventions that prevent problems before they occur. This review presents 11 recommendations for urban interventions that build on individual, family, and community strengths to promote the mental health and well-being of urban children and adolescents.

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