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Abstract

Research investigating neighborhood effects on children and families has been largely deficit and individual-focused, investigated structural variables, and has typically produced equivocal findings and small effect sizes. We suggest an approach focused on community strengths and resources that stresses the role of measures of social interaction variables and the utilization of analytic strategies that model the spatial and nested nature of contextual effects. To that end, we offer a community resilience model that includes both community-level risk and protective factors, and suggests sources to obtain community-level strengths data. We also provide a guide for locating community resource data appropriate for use in neighborhood effects research utilizing geographical information systems, multilevel modeling, and spatial analytic strategies. Finally, we discuss the challenges and issues to be addressed in further developing a strategy for investigating neighborhood effects from a strengths perspective. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Comm Psychol 35: 667–680, 2007.