Neighborhood Influences on Perceived Social Support Among Parents: Findings from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods

Tendulkar, Shalini A.; Koenen, Karestan C.; Dunn, Erin C.; Buka, Stephen; Subramanian, S. V.
April 2012
PLoS ONE;Apr2012, Vol. 7 Issue 4, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Social support is frequently linked to positive parenting behavior. Similarly, studies increasingly show a link between neighborhood residential environment and positive parenting behavior. However, less is known about how the residential environment influences parental social support. To address this gap, we examine the relationship between neighborhood concentrated disadvantage and collective efficacy and the level and change in parental caregiver perceptions of non-familial social support. Methodology/Principal Findings: The data for this study came from three data sources, the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN) Study's Longitudinal Cohort Survey of caregivers and their offspring, a Community Survey of adult residents in these same neighborhoods and the 1990 Census. Social support is measured at Wave 1 and Wave 3 and neighborhood characteristics are measured at Wave 1. Multilevel linear regression models are fit. The results show that neighborhood collective efficacy is a significant (ß = 04; SE = .02; p = .03), predictor of the positive change in perceived social support over a 7 year period, however, not of the level of social support, adjusting for key compositional variables and neighborhood concentrated disadvantage. In contrast concentrated neighborhood disadvantage is not a significant predictor of either the level or change in social support. Conclusion: Our finding suggests that neighborhood collective efficacy may be important for inducing the perception of support from friends in parental caregivers over time.


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