PERCEPTIONS OF DANGER: A Psychological Mediator of Neighborhood Demographic Characteristics


Department of EPCSE, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115


Associations between neighborhood characteristics and adjustment of 168 urban fifth-grade children were explored. High neighborhood risk was associated with parent and teacher reports of child misconduct, and with parent and child reports of child psychological distress, while child and parent perceptions of neighborhood dangers appeared to mediate these associations. Specific neighborhood aspects were also related to child adjustment: higher violent crime rates with higher child misconduct rates, and lower neighborhood incomes with greater child psychological distress. Implications for research and intervention are discussed.