Illuminating associations between parenting and deleterious neighborhood characteristics via exhaustive modeling

S. Alexandra Burt, Daniel Thaler, Elizabeth A. Shewark, Amber L. Pearson, Carolina Anaya, Rachel C. Tomlinson, Jenae M. Neiderhiser, Kelly L. Klump, Joseph S. Lonstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Our goal was to illuminate associations between specific characteristics of under-resourced neighborhoods (i.e., socioeconomic deprivation, danger) and specific aspects of parenting (e.g., parental praise, parental nurturance, harsh parenting, and parental control). Background: Prior work has highlighted associations between level of neighborhood disadvantage and the parenting of its residents. However, this work has yet to clarify the specific characteristics of the neighborhood or the types of parenting involved. Method: Exhaustive modeling analyses were conducted in a sample of 1030 families of twins (average age 8 years; 51% male, 49% female; the racial composition was 82% White, 10% Black, 1% Asian, 1% Indigenous, 6% multiracial) from the Twin Study of Behavioral and Emotional Development in Children. Neighborhood and parenting were assessed using multiple informants and assessment strategies (neighborhood informants, family informants, administrative data, and videotaped parent–child interactions). Results: Neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation (i.e., limited institutional and economic structural resources) demonstrated small but consistent negative associations with positive parenting behaviors and maternal control, but not with negative parenting behaviors. Neighborhood danger (i.e., recorded crime, fear of crime, exposure to community violence), by contrast, demonstrated weaker associations with parenting that dissipated once we controlled for overlap with socioeconomic deprivation. Conclusion: Danger and socioeconomic deprivation do not function as interchangeable characteristics of under-resourced neighborhoods, at least in terms of their association with positive parenting. Future studies should identify the specific mechanisms through which neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation is associated with less nurturing parenting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-172
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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