U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Adolescents, Neighborhoods, and Violence: Recent Findings From the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2007
24 pages
Publication Series
This report summarizes findings from four published papers using the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN) longitudinal study to address questions about adolescent violence.
In responding to four questions: (1) why are some adolescents more violent than others; (2) why are some neighborhoods more violent than others; (3) how do disadvantaged neighborhoods affect the development of resident youth; and (4) what is the relationship between violent neighborhoods and violent teens, researchers found that neighborhood conditions and social processes played an important role in influencing adolescent violence, beyond the attributes of individuals in those neighborhoods. This general conclusion relates to illegal firearms carrying, exposure to firearms violence, the observed racial and ethnic differences in offending, and the relationship between early puberty and violent behavior in girls. None of these findings on neighborhood influences contradict the many strong findings about the effects of individual, family, and peer factors in producing violence. The studies reviewed report many such effects, including the role of married parents, youth impulsiveness, individual experiences with violence and victimization, and association with deviant peers. The Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN) was designed to investigate the development of crime and violence in children and adolescents. The PHDCN combines a longitudinal study of more than 6,000 Chicago children and adolescents with a study of Chicago neighborhoods. The longitudinal study involved interviews with children, adolescents, and primary caregivers conducted form 1995 through 2001. This report summarizes findings on violence from four recently published scientific articles. Each article used the multilevel design, drawing on data from both the neighborhood and youth studies. References and appendix

Date Published: September 1, 2007