The research reported in this article was supported by a Faculty Scholar Award from the W. T. Grant Foundation and Hatch and Center for Advanced Studies Funding from the University of Illinois. Early foundational work for the article was supported by a National Science Foundation Award for the Study of Race, Urban Poverty, and Social Policy (Northwestern University); a grant from the Social Science Research Council's Program on the Urban Underclass; and a Visiting Scholar Award from the Russell Sage Foundation. Members of the Social Science Research Council's Working Group on Communities and Neighborhoods, Family Processes, and Individual Development and the MacArthur Foundation Working Group on Successful Pathways through Middle Childhood helped stimulate ideas expressed in this article. With great cultural competency and sensitivity, Verda Hester collected the data reported here. Doris Houston expertly assisted with data analysis. Special appreciation is extended to the women who willingly shared their lives with us.
Women's Danger Management Strategies in an Inner-City Housing Project*
Article first published online: 20 JAN 2005
Volume 53, Issue 2, pages 138–147, March 2004
How to Cite
Jarrett, R. L. and Jefferson, S. M. (2004), Women's Danger Management Strategies in an Inner-City Housing Project. Family Relations, 53: 138–147. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-2445.2004.00004.x
- Issue published online: 20 JAN 2005
- Article first published online: 20 JAN 2005
- African American;
- coping strategies;
- public housing;
The danger management strategies of low-income African American women who live in a public housing community characterized by chronic violence are examined. Based on qualitative interviews with 18 single mothers, we explored the violent community dangers with which women contend, the nature of this violence, the strategies used to deal with community violence, and their benefits and costs to family and community life. Findings show that multiple types of violence characterized life in the community and that this violence has specific physical locations, a particular set of actors, and a temporal rhythm. Women's responses to violence were nonconfrontational and family focused in nature. These efforts were effective in keeping women and their children safe, but did not reduce the prevalence of violence.