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Journal Article

The effects of neighbourhood poverty on adolescent problem behaviour : A multi-level analysis differentiated by gender and ethnicity


Oberwittler,  Dietrich
Criminology, Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, Max Planck Society;

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Oberwittler, D. (2007). The effects of neighbourhood poverty on adolescent problem behaviour: A multi-level analysis differentiated by gender and ethnicity. Frontiers of Quantifying Neighbourhood Effects, 781-803.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-474F-E
This paper investigates how adolescents react to living in urban areas of concentrated poverty, and whether contextual effects on psychological strain and delinquent behaviour exist, using a cross-sectional youth survey in 61 neighbourhoods in two German cities and a rural area (n = ca. 5300). Multi-level analysis is applied to estimate neighbourhood effects controlling for individual socio-demographic composition. Results suggest that neighbourhood effects on delinquency exist which are, however, dependent on the spatial orientation of adolescents' routine activities and peer networks. Adolescents with an immigrant background do not seem to be influenced by neighbourhood conditions in the same way that native adolescents are. In particular, native girls react to neighbourhood disadvantage by resorting to violence. A tentative cross-classified multi-level model suggests that schools and neighbourhood contexts simultaneously affect adolescents' delinquency.