Neighborhood Profiles and Associations with Coping Behaviors among Low-Income Youth

Jill A. Rabinowitz, Terrinieka Powell, Richard Sadler, Beth Reboussin, Kerry Green, Adam Milam, Mieka Smart, Debra Furr-Holden, Amanda Latimore, Darius Tandon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Extant research has typically examined neighborhood characteristics in isolation using variable-centered approaches; however, there is reason to believe that perceptions of the neighborhood environment influence each other, requiring the use of person-centered approaches to study these relationships. The present study sought to determine profiles of youth that differ in their perceptions of their neighborhoods and objective neighborhood characteristics, and whether these profiles are associated with youth coping. Participants were low-income, African American youth (N= 733; 51.0% female, M age = 18.76 years, SD = 1.71) from a metropolitan city who were originally recruited for the Youth Opportunity program in Baltimore, Maryland. A latent profile analysis was conducted which included self-reported neighborhood social cohesion, collective efficacy, disorder, violence, and disadvantage derived from census data. Coping behaviors, specifically positive cognitive restructuring, problem-focused coping, distraction strategies, and avoidant behaviors were assessed via self-reported questionnaires. Four neighborhood profiles were identified: highest disorder (20.0%); highest violence/highest disadvantage (5.2%); high violence (26.6%); and highest cohesion/lowest disorder (48.2%). Individuals in the highest violence/highest disadvantage profile reported higher positive cognitive restructuring and problem-focused coping than the other profiles. These findings warrant an investigation into the individual assets and contextual resources that may contribute to more positive coping behaviors among youth in more violent and disadvantaged neighborhoods, which has the potential to improve resilient outcomes among youth in similar at-risk settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-505
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Coping
  • Latent profiles
  • Neighborhood risk and protective factors
  • Urban youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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