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Am J Community Psychol. 2003 Mar;31(1-2):55-72.

Prevention science and neighborhood influences on low-income children's development: theoretical and methodological issues.

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Family and Human Development, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287-2502, USA.


Despite the rapid growth of research on neighborhood influences on children, little of this research may be useful to prevention scientists. Most studies have ignored processes by which neighborhood conditions influence individual outcomes. To encourage neighborhood research that can better guide the development of preventive interventions, we propose a model that focuses attention on mediating and moderating processes, is appropriate for studies interested in individual differences in outcomes, acknowledges the transactions between residents and neighborhoods, and is sensitive to how neighborhood influences may differ for children at different developmental stages. Furthermore, we argue that greater attention to several methodological issues also can make neighborhood research more useful for the next generation of prevention programs to help low-income urban families and children cope successfully with the challenges posed by their neighborhoods.

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