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 articlepeer-review

79 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 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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