The Mechanism(s) of Neighbourhood EffectsTheory, Evidence, and Policy Implications George Galster Hilberry Professor of Urban Affairs Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning Wayne State University Presentation at ESRC Neighbourhood Effects Seminar St. Andrews University, Scotland Feb. 4, 2010
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Support from: MacArthur Foundation [usual caveats] Thanks to: David Manley, Maarten van Ham ESRC School of Geography and Geosciences Centre for Housing Research
OVERVIEW: QUESTIONS ADDRESSED What are potential causal pathways between neighborhood context “dosage” and individual behavioral and health outcomes? What are key questions for scholars regarding the composition, administration, and response to the neighborhood “dosage?” What are dominant neighborhood effect mechanisms operating? (evidence base) What are next steps for scholars?
POTENTIAL CAUSAL PATHWAYS [1-7 of 15!] Social-Interactive Mechanisms: Social contagion Collective socialization Social networks Social cohesion and control Competition Relative deprivation Parental mediation
POTENTIAL CAUSAL PATHWAYS [8-10 of 15!] Environmental Mechanisms: Exposure to violence Physical surroundings (built environment) Toxic exposure
POTENTIAL CAUSAL PATHWAYS [11-12 of 15!] Geographical Mechanisms: Spatial mismatch Public services
POTENTIAL CAUSAL PATHWAYS [13-15 of 15!] Institutional Mechanisms: Stigmatization Local institutional resources Local market actors & facilities
A PHAMACOLOGICAL METAPHOR: NEIGHBORHOOD AS A “DOSAGE” OF A DRUG IMPLIES THREE CATEGORIES OF CONCERNS FOR SCHOLARS OF NEIGHBORHOOD EFFECTS: • Composition of dosage • Administration of dosage • Nature of dosage-response relationship 17 questions must be addressed!
COMPOSTION OF NEIGHBORHOOD DOSAGE What are the various “active ingredients” comprising the dosage?
ADMINISTRATION OF NEIGHBORHOOD DOSAGE Frequency (# of administrations?) Duration (exposure length each administration?) Intensity (amount of active ingredients?) Consistency (identical dose each time?) Trajectory (all above constant over time?) Spatial Extent (distance decay of dosage?) Passivity (what required of recipient?) Mediation (dose received directly?)
NEIGHBORHOOD DOSAGE – RESPONSE RELATIONSHIP Thresholds (non-linear dosage-response?) Timing (response how soon after exposure?) Durability (response persist over time?) Generality (variety of responses each dose?) Universality (relationship same across groups?) Interactions (with other neigh’d. drug dosages?) Antidotes (other influences on response?) Buffers (compensatory-insulating factors?)
APPROACHES OF PAST SCHOLARSHIP • field-interview studies of people’s perceptions, social relations and networks within neighborhoods & non-residents’ opinions about neighborhoods, involving both quantitative and qualitative analyses of the data collected thereby; and • multivariate statistical studies estimating models of how various neighborhood indicators are correlated with a variety of individual outcomes for children, youth, and adults.
DOMINANT MECHANISMS: TENTATIVE CONCLUSIONS FROM INTERNATIONAL LIT.
DOMINANT MECHANISMS: TENTATIVE CONCLUSIONS FROM INTERNATIONAL LIT. Social-Interactive: Cohesion / informal social controls Social contagion Collective socialization Parental mediation Environmental: Violence and Toxic exposures Geographic: Public services Institutional: Resources
IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE SCHOLARSHIP Mixed-method longitudinal approach embedded in same study design with same populations, neighborhoods and overarching contexts examined over extended period Rich array of neighborhood indicators: Population, Housing, Accessibility, Violence, Local Institutions & Facilities, Public Services & Amenities, Pollution, Social Cohesion, Interactions & Networks Routine activity analyses of residents & Parental mediation efforts
POTENTIAL NEXT STEP VIA NATURAL EXPERIMENT: Denver Housing Authority (DHA) Operated scattered-site public housing since 1968; now over 1,500 units in most neighborhoods across Denver County; • Quasi-random assignment of tenants Galster-Santiago project fieldwork 90-minute phone interviews: residential/family/child retrospective histories; April 2006 - Nov. 2007 N = 745 families; 1,926 Black / Latino children Geo-coded address history merged w/ dozens of Census tract & Piton Foundation neighborhood indicators & subjective indicators from parents; networks & cohesion
SUMMARY: QUESTIONS ADDRESSED What are potential causal pathways between neighborhood context “dosage” and individual behavioral and health outcomes? 15 Alternatives under rubrics of: Social interactive Environmental Geographical Institutional
SUMMARY: QUESTIONS ADDRESSED What are key questions for scholars regarding the composition, administration, and response to the neighborhood “dosage?” 17 Key Questions Related to: Composition of Dosage Administration of Dosage Dosage-Response relationship
SUMMARY: QUESTIONS ADDRESSED What are dominant neighborhood effect mechanisms operating? (evidence base) Cohesion / informal social controls Social contagion Collective socialization Parental mediation Violence and Toxic exposures Public services Institutional Resources
SUMMARY: QUESTIONS ADDRESSED What are next steps for scholars? Mixed-method, longitudinal approaches Rich array of neighborhood indicators, action spaces, parental mediations