Good Kids from Bad Neighborhoods: Successful Development in Social Context

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 4, 2006 - Psychology
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This is a study of successful youth development in poor, disadvantaged neighborhoods in Denver and Chicago - a study of how children living in the worst neighborhoods develop or fail to develop the values, competencies and commitments that lead to a productive, healthy responsible adult life. While there is a strong focus on neighborhood effects, the study employs a multicontextual model examining both the direct effects of the neighborhood ecology, social organization and contexts embedded in the neighborhood. The unique and combined influence of the neighborhood, family, school, peer group and individual attributes on developmental success is estimated. The view that growing up in a poor, disadvantaged neighborhood condemns one to a life of repeated failure and personal pathology is revealed as a myth, as most youth in these neighborhoods are completing the developmental tasks of adolescence successfully.

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Appendix A
Appendix A
318 Appendix A
Appendix A
table A93 Predictors of Success in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods

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About the author (2006)

Delbert S. Elliott is Distinguished Professor of Sociology Emeritus and Research Professor at the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado. He was past president and Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology. He was the Senior Science Editor for the Surgeon General's Report on Youth Violence in 2001 and the General Editor for Blueprints for the Violence Prevention Series of Monographs. He has published many books and is a member of The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Adolescent Development.

Scott Menard received his BA from Cornell University and his PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder, both in sociology. He has published extensively in the areas of quantitative methods, statistics, criminology and delinquency and also in the areas of demography and development. His current research interests include the use of standardized coefficients in logistic regression analysis, the short and long term consequences of victimization, particularly in adolescence and the interrelationship between different types of substance use and illegal behavior.

Bruce Rankin is an assistant professor of Sociology at Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey, and a Research Fellow at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He received his doctorate in sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1993. Prior to his faculty appointment, he was the research coordinator of the Center for the Study of Urban Inequality at the University of Chicago and, later, a research associate at the Joblessness and Urban Poverty Research Program at Harvard University. His research has focused on various issues related to urban poverty and social policy.

Amanda Elliott is a research analyst in the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado. For the past seventeen years, she has been involved in longitudinal studies of child and adolescent development and domestic assault, and was the Field Director of the Denver Neighborhood Study. Her work also includes cross-national projects with researchers from Bremen, Germany examining the effects of training for the labor market and the effects of juvenile justice system processing on delinquent behavior. She is a co-author of an article in the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency.

David Huizinga is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado and holds graduate degrees in mathematics and psychology. For over two decades he has been conducting basic and evaluation research on developmental life-span issues. He is the co-author of three books as well as several book chapters and numerous journal articles and government reports on issues surrounding the development of delinquency, drug use, and mental health.

William Julius Wilson is Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University, Massachusetts. He is one of only 18 University Professors, the highest professional distinction for a Harvard faculty member. He joined the faculty at Harvard in July of 1996. Wilson has received 41 honorary degrees and was selected by Time Magazine as one of America's 25 Most Influential People. He is a recipient of the 1998 National Medal of Science, the highest scientific honor in the United States, and was awarded the Talcott Parsons Prize in the Social Sciences by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003.

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