Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared.
Living alongside more affluent neighbors predicts greater involvement in antisocial behavior among low-income boys
Version of Record online: 22 JAN 2015
© 2015 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume 56, Issue 10, pages 1055–1064, October 2015
How to Cite
Odgers, C. L., Donley, S., Caspi, A., Bates, C. J. and Moffitt, T. E. (2015), Living alongside more affluent neighbors predicts greater involvement in antisocial behavior among low-income boys. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56: 1055–1064. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12380
- Issue online: 18 SEP 2015
- Version of Record online: 22 JAN 2015
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 DEC 2014
- Medical Research Council. Grant Numbers: G1002190, G9806489
- ESRC. Grant Number: RES-177-25-0013
- NICHD. Grant Number: HD061298
- Jacobs Foundation
- the British Academy
- the Nuffield Foundation
- William T. Grant Foundation
- National Science Foundation
- Children's antisocial behavior;
- socioeconomic status;
- economic inequality;
- neighborhood poverty;
- economically mixed communities;
- sex differences
The creation of economically mixed communities has been proposed as one way to improve the life outcomes of children growing up in poverty. However, whether low-income children benefit from living alongside more affluent neighbors is unknown.
Prospectively gathered data on over 1,600 children from the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study living in urban environments is used to test whether living alongside more affluent neighbors (measured via high-resolution geo-spatial indices) predicts low-income children's antisocial behavior (reported by mothers and teachers at the ages of 5, 7, 10, and 12).
Results indicated that low-income boys (but not girls) surrounded by more affluent neighbors had higher levels of antisocial behavior than their peers embedded in concentrated poverty. The negative effect of growing up alongside more affluent neighbors on low-income boys' antisocial behavior held across childhood and after controlling for key neighborhood and family-level factors.
Findings suggest that efforts to create more economically mixed communities for children, if not properly supported, may have iatrogenic effects on boys' antisocial behavior.