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Keywords:

  • neighborhood effects;
  • parent-child relationships;
  • social integration;
  • youth violence

The purpose of this study is to analyze the extent to which neighborhood-level family structure and feelings of family integration are associated with acts of violence among 16,910 adolescents from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The results from our hierarchical linear models indicate that adolescents who live in neighborhoods with lower proportions of single-parent families and who report higher levels of family integration commit less violence. We also find that neighborhood-level family structure shapes the extent to which social integration into family matters: In neighborhoods that are considered higher risk environments (i.e., contain greater proportions of single-parent families), family integration is often less effective in deterring youth violence than it is in lower risk environments.