Community Contributions to Scholastic Success: Exploring the Interplay among Parental Perceptions and Objective Features of Community Environment

Lori Kowaleski-Jones, University of Utah
Rachel Dunifon, Cornell University
Geoffrey L. Ream, Cornell University

The goal of this paper is to further our understanding of the role of community factors by examining the influence of neighborhood characteristics on youth outcomes. Prior research has utilized measures of structural features of the community and has evaluated their associations with youth outcomes. Other research has related perceptions of community environment to problematic youth development. Our work seeks to bridge these two streams of research by considering the effects of both objective and subjective measures of community environment for youth development. Data are drawn from the 1990 Census and the 1997 Panel Study of Income Dynamics Child Development Supplement to form a sample of approximately 1349 children aged 6 through 12. Because PSID data is geographically clustered, we model our data using hierarchical linear models. Preliminary results suggest a positive association between living in a community with a high concentration of immigrants and school success.

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Presented in Session 95: Community and Neighborhood Influences on Children and Youth