Differential Influences of Neighborhood Dangerousness on Individual Violence

Jacqueline Cohen, Carnegie Mellon University
Rolf Loeber, University of Pittsburgh
Magda Stouthamer-Loeber, University of Pittsburgh

ABSTRACT
Numerous studies find links between various social influences and illegal acquisition, carrying and use of guns. Involvement in high-risk criminal enterprises--notably gangs and illicit drug markets--emerges as an especially strong factor among central city youth (i.e., adoelscents and young adults). Dangerous neighborhoods have also been implicated as factors in the spread of gun involvement beyond criminally involved youth. Combining cohort data from the Pittsburgh Youth Study with police information on reported offenses and 911 reports of shots fired, this study will explore differential mechanisms influencing youth's illegal involvement with guns and participation in gun violence, and how these change with age. In the presence of strong parental/family influences at younger ages, neighborhoods are expected to become more influential in later stages of adolescence and carry greater weight among non-criminal youth.

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Updated 05/20/2006