Beyond a Variable-Centered Approach to Place: Identifying and Assessing Neighborhood Typologies

Tara D. Warner, Bowling Green State University
Raymond R. Swisher, Bowling Green State University
Jorge Chavez, Bowling Green State University
Danielle C. Kuhl, Bowling Green State University

Neighborhood context has emerged as an important correlate of adolescent risk behavior, health, and well-being, given the link between neighborhood characteristics (particularly social disorganization and structural disadvantage) and various problem behaviors and health-related outcomes. Given youths’ limited geographic mobility, neighborhoods are part of an expanding circle of contexts to which individuals are exposed during adolescence. Traditional approaches for studying neighborhood effects often focus on disadvantage, using single indicators or indices of disadvantage. However, processes of racial segregation and socioeconomic stratification have lead to the patterning of particular neighborhood “types” or “profiles”, and while past research has frequently discussed specific neighborhood types (e.g., the black middle-class), quantitative studies have not fully measured these typologies. The current study uses cluster analysis to identify specific neighborhood types that are patterned by three key structural components of neighborhoods: racial composition, income distribution (class), and urbanicity (or rurality).

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Presented in Poster Session 6