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Neighborhood and Gender Effects on Family Processes



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Family Relations 54 December 2005 633 643 Blackwell Publishing Printed in the USA Copyright 2005 by the National Council on Family Relations Neighborhood and Gender Effects on Family Processes Results From the Moving to Opportunity Program Tama Leventhal Jeanne Brooks Gunn Abstract Data from the New York City Moving to Opportunity 3 year follow up were used to examine neighborhood and gender effects on adolescents family processes Low income minority families in public housing in highpoverty neighborhoods were assigned randomly to a move to private housing in low poverty neighborhoods only b move to private housing in neighborhoods of their choice or c stay in place Family processes assessed by parent reports and interviewer observations were compared for those who relocated and those who stayed in place Parents in the low poverty group were observed to be harsher toward their daughters than parents in the high poverty group In adolescence residential relocation may be difficult for mother daughter relations and require additional services to ease the transition Key Words adolescence communities gender parent child relations poverty social policy The social contexts in which families are embedded are thought to affect the nature of relationships among family members Teachman Crowder 2002 For families with adolescent children the communities where they live are one such context that may impact their interaction patterns Furstenberg Cook Eccles Elder Sameroff 1999 Jencks Mayer 1990 Neighborhoods may play a role by organizing opportunities for social interactions and activities However families continue to be the dominant force in adolescents lives Steinberg 2001 Thus how community and family contexts intersect has important implications for relations among family members Both of these influences family and neighborhood may vary by gender during adolescence when gender differences become pronounced Galambos 2004 The focus of the present study is on this complex



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