Collective Efficacy as a Key Context in Neighborhood Support for Urban Youth

Dana M. Prince, Bernadette Hohl, Bronwyn A. Hunter, Azure B. Thompson, Samantha L. Matlin, Alice J. Hausman, Jacob Kraemer Tebes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Neighborhood context, including the physical and social environment, has been implicated as important contributors to positive youth development. A transactional approach to neighborhood asserts that place and people are mutually constitutive; negative perceptions of place are intrinsically bound with negative portrayals of stigmatized groups, including youth. Adult perceptions of neighborhood youth may contribute to an increased sense of alienation and youth antisocial behavior. This study uses street-intercept interviews with adults (N = 408) to examine the relationship between neighborhood conditions and adult support for neighborhood youth. A path model was used to examine the direct and indirect relationship of neighborhood constructs (safety, aesthetic quality, and walkability) on adult support for neighborhood youth. Neighborhood aesthetic quality and the walking environment were directly associated with adult support for youth, whereas perceived safety was indirectly associated. Collective efficacy partially explained these relationships. Findings support theorized relationships between people and places; improvements to neighborhood physical environment may directly impact resident adults’ perceptions of neighborhood young people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-189
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Collective efficacy
  • Informal adult support
  • Neighborhood conditions
  • Physical and social disorder
  • Physical decay
  • Youth support


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