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A new article, published online in Urban Education, looks at the impact of family, school, and neighborhood contextual characteristics on the outcomes of children growing up in poverty. Using data on 424 children from seven schools in deprived areas of Chicago, the authors examined four school performance outcomes including children's math and reading levels, grades repeated, and behavioral problems. They conclude that the study validates the impact of poverty and other adversities on a child's school achievement and behaviors.
They found negative associations at the family level; for example, household size and household adversity were significantly associated with the increased probability of repeating a grade, and children not living with their fathers were more likely to repeat a grade or have behavioral problems. There were also negative associations at a community level; for example, low neighborhood education levels were negatively associated with children's math and reading scores.
However, children enrolled in high-performing schools had higher reading scores and higher math scores compared with those from mid/low-performing schools. The authors suggest that interventions aiming to improve the quality of schools may mediate the negative effects of individual and neighborhood disadvantages on children's school performance.
Johns Hopkins University
Research in Brief