Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title

RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences

Publication Date

2-2017

Publisher

Russell Sage Foundation

Volume

3

Issue

2

First Page

170

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Last Page

209

Abstract

Using data from a natural experiment in Denver, we investigate whether the initiation of running away from home, aggressive or violent behavior, and marijuana use during adolescence are statistically related to the neighborhood contexts in which low-income Latino and African American youth were raised. Our analysis is based on retrospective child, caregiver, household, and neighborhood data for a sample of approximately 850 Latino and African American youth whose families were quasi-randomly assigned to public housing operated by the Denver (CO) Housing Authority during part of their childhood. We used Cox PH models and accelerated failure time models to estimate ethnic differentials in the hazards and timing of initiation of these risky behaviors during adolescence. We found that multiple dimensions of neighborhood context—especially safety, ethnic and nativity composition, and socioeconomic status—strongly and robustly predicted initiation of running away, aggressive or violence behavior, and marijuana use during adolescence.

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