Neighborhood Economics, Schools, and Juvenile Delinquency
This chapter explores youth and adult employment patterns in disadvantaged communities, school performance, and delinquency in a nationally representative sample of adolescents. An important result of this study is that neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage conditions the effect of school performance on delinquency. Among students who live in disadvantaged areas, better grades in school are associated with higher delinquency rates, a pattern opposite to that found for students from more advantaged areas and suggesting that the relationship between school performance and violence involvement is conditioned by the neighborhood opportunity structure. This finding should concern policymakers and violence-prevention specialists and echoes the conclusion from the DSG literature review that interventions to prevent youth crime and violence should be multivalent, encompassing the community as well as the families and schools of disadvantaged youth.
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