Measuring Neighborhood Connection and the Association with Violence in Young Adolescents
The objectives of this study were to (1) construct measures of adolescent neighborhood connection and (2) test the association of these measures with violent behaviors using data from sixth grade students (n=118) involved in the Lead Peace-Plus evaluation survey. The survey instrument, tailored for adolescents, included questions about violence involvement in the past year as well as youth perceptions of and interactions with others in their neighborhood. Exploratory factor analysis yielded two factors. The first factor, intention to contribute, was composed of five items that indicated whether adolescents value and intend to work to improve their neighborhoods. The second factor, neighborhood social resources, was composed of eight items that reflected adolescents' familiarity with neighbors and perceptions that their neighbors could provide support. Students with lower levels of both neighborhood connection measures were more likely to report violent behaviors in the past year. However, the trends were significant only for relationships between intention to contribute and violence indicators. Modified Author Abstract.