Geospatial ecology of adolescent problem behavior: Contributions of community factors and parental monitoring

Maria Gartstein, Erich Seamon, Thomas J. Dishion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We addressed the ecology of deviant peer involvement, antisocial behavior, and alcohol use using publicly available information for indices of community risk/protective factors. A geospatial model was developed, combining geographic data (census, crime proximity, race/ethnicity, and transportation accessibility) with information gathered from individual adolescents/households, geocoded by home address. Adolescent report of delinquency, association with deviant peers, substance use, and parental monitoring were obtained, along with parent report of demographic characteristics. Deviant peer involvement was predicted by the Crime Proximity Index, with closeness of crime being associated with more deviant peer affiliation, as well as the Transportation Index, with greater accessibility leading to more involvement with troubled peers. Antisocial behaviors also increased with greater access to transportation. Adolescent alcohol use was lower in communities with a higher proportion of a non-Caucasian population and increased with greater transportation access. Adolescent outcomes were associated with different prediction models, yet parental monitoring emerged as a consistent contributing factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-315
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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