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Economics and Youth ViolenceCrime, Disadvantage, and Community$
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Richard Rosenfeld, Mark Edberg, Xiangming Fang, and Curtis S. Florence

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814789308

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814789308.001.0001

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Macroeconomic Factors and Inequities in Youth Violence

Macroeconomic Factors and Inequities in Youth Violence

The Cyclical Relationship between Community Conditions, Family Factors, and Youth Violence

(p.278) 10 Macroeconomic Factors and Inequities in Youth Violence
Economics and Youth Violence

Jennifer L. Matjasko

Sarah Beth Barnett

James A. Mercy

NYU Press

This chapter describes a cyclical dynamic between macroeconomic factors and families affecting child outcomes. Both short- and long-term economic strains disrupt the ability of families to provide a nurturing and positive developmental environment. Drawing on the family stress and the family investment models, the chapter shows how long-term and short-term economic strains can differentially increase irritability, anger, depression, substance use, harsh parenting, family conflict, and other problems within families, potentially leading to adjustment and academic problems among children; and affect decisions families make about resources they can (and cannot) provide for educational and developmental support. Further, Robert Agnew's general strain theory suggests an additional family stressor from a general frustration created by resource deprivation. This chapter thus proposes a model for capturing the cyclical dynamic that predicts different family—and thus youth—outcomes by type of economic strain, with implications for intervention.

Keywords:   macroeconomic factors, child outcomes, short-term economic strains, long-term economic strains, developmental environment, family stress model, family investment model

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