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Neighborhood and Gender Effects on Family Processes: Results From the Moving to Opportunity Program*


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    The authors would like to thank the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Russell Sage Foundation for their support. We are also grateful to the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the NICHD Research Network on Child and Family Well-Being, and the Center for Health and Well-being at Princeton University. We are especially thankful to John Goering for his support throughout this project. We also would like to thank the staff at Schulman, Ronca, and Bucuvalas, Inc., for their role in data collection and preparation. We are indebted to Judie Feins and Debi McInnis of Abt Associates, Inc., for technical assistance throughout this project. In addition, we are grateful to Greg Duncan, Tom Cook, Bob Crain, Rebecca Fauth, Jeff Kling, and Phil Thompson for their comments and suggestions throughout the study; Rebecca Fauth also provided helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article.

**Tama Leventhal is an Associate Research Scientist, Institute for Policy Studies and an Assistant Professor, Bloomberg School of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N Charles Street, Wyman Building, Baltimore, MD 21218 ( Jeanne Brooks-Gunn is a Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Child Development and Education at Columbia University.


Abstract: Data from the New York City Moving to Opportunity 3-year follow-up were used to examine neighborhood and gender effects on adolescents’ family processes. Low-income, minority families in public housing in high-poverty neighborhoods were assigned randomly to (a) move to private housing in low-poverty neighborhoods only, (b) move to private housing in neighborhoods of their choice, or (c) stay in place. Family processes, assessed by parent reports and interviewer observations, were compared for those who relocated and those who stayed in place. Parents in the low-poverty group were observed to be harsher toward their daughters than parents in the high-poverty group. In adolescence, residential relocation may be difficult for mother-daughter relations and require additional services to ease the transition.