Friday, January 23, 2015

Low Income Boys Living In Economically Mixed Communities Engage In More Antisocial Behavior

From ScienceBlog, "Low-income boys fare worse in wealth’s shadow:"
Low-income boys fare worse, not better, when they grow up alongside more affluent neighbors, according to new findings from Duke University. In fact, the greater the economic gap between the boys and their neighbors, the worse the effects, says the new article based on 12 years of research.

"Our hope was that we would find economically mixed communities that allowed low-income children access to greater resources and the opportunity to thrive," said Candice Odgers, associate director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. "Instead, we found what appears to be the opposite effect."
The authors found that in economically mixed settings, low-income boys engaged in more antisocial behavior, including delinquent behavior such as lying, cheating and swearing, and aggressive behavior such as fighting.
Among the low-income boys, those living in neighborhoods classified as "hard-pressed," where 75 percent or more of the local area was poor, had the lowest rates of antisocial behavior. Poor boys’ behavior was worse in middle-income neighborhoods, and worse still in the wealthiest neighborhoods studied, said Odgers, a psychologist who is an associate professor at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy. She said the findings held true from ages 5 through 12.
The study, "Living alongside more affluent neighbors predicts greater involvement in antisocial behavior among low-income boys" by Candice L Odgers, Sachiko Donley, Avshalom Caspi, Christopher J Bates and Terrie E. Moffitt published online, Jan 22, 2015, in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry:

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