Havens of risks or resources? A study of two Latino neighborhoods in New York City

Mariana C. Martins, José E. Diaz, Raziel Valiño, Naa Oyo A. Kwate, Ana F. Abraido-Lanza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research has been mixed on the potential risks and resources that ethnic enclaves may confer upon residents: whereas some authors characterize racial and ethnic minority neighborhoods through the lens of segregation and risk, others argue that these minority neighborhoods are ethnic enclaves that can improve the availability of resources to residents. In this study, we sought to assess two predominantly Latino New York City neighborhoods (one enclave neighborhood and one comparison) in the areas of structural resources (e.g., grocers, parks), cultural resources (e.g., botanicas, hair salons), and risks (e.g., empty lots, bars) by street-level coding in 20 census tracts (streets N∈=∈202). We used Poisson generalized linear models to assess whether enclave status of a neighborhood predicted the numbers of risks and resources on streets within those neighborhoods. Enclave status did not predict the number of risks (Rate ratio∈=∈1.08(0.83,∈1.42),∈χ 2(1, ∈N∈=∈202)∈=∈0.35,∈p∈=∈n.∈s.) or cultural resources (Rate ratio∈=∈0.87(0.54,∈1.40),∈χ 2(1,∈N∈=∈202)∈=∈0.34,∈p∈=∈n. ∈s.), yet it was associated with a higher number of structural resources (Rate ratio∈=∈1.90(1.48,∈2.43),∈χ 2(1, ∈N∈=∈202)∈=∈25.74,∈p∈<∈0.001). The results suggest that while living in an ethnic enclave may not reduce risks, it may help residents cope with those risks through an increased number of structural resources. These findings support theories that conceptualize ethnic enclaves as neighborhoods where greater resources are available to residents. The focus on resources within this work was instrumental, as no difference would have been found if a solely risk-focused approach had been employed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-488
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Dominican
  • Ethnic enclave
  • Latino
  • New York City
  • Resources
  • Risks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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