Family and child characteristics linking neighborhood context and child externalizing behavior

Mark W. Roosa, Shiying Deng, Ehri Ryu, Ginger Lockhart Burrell, Jenn-Yun Tein, Sarah Jones, Vera Lopez, Sakina Crowder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

63 Scopus citations


Neighborhood conditions are related to children's externalizing behavior, although few processes that help explain this association have been identified. With data from 189 primarily low-income Anglo and Mexican American families, we tested a stress process model that included 3 potential mediators of this relationship. The results showed that child stressful life events, association with deviant peers, and parent-child conflict mediated the relationship between neighborhood context and child externalizing behavior when household income and maternal depression were controlled. The model explained more than 25% of the variance in externalizing behavior. Furthermore, differences in results for families with a U.S.-born versus Mexico-born mother showed that neighborhood influences on families and children may be quite complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-529
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2005



  • Externalizing behavior
  • Mexican American families
  • Neighborhood
  • Parent-child conflict
  • Peer relations
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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