Communities and Neighborhoods

Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)


The communities and neighborhoods girls reside in have a great impact on their beliefs, values, and actions. Community influence on African American adolescent girls is the focus of this chapter. A large part of any community is neighborhood schools and teachers, and these topics are also touched upon in this chapter. This chapter begins with definitions of neighborhood and community, discusses the role of poverty, then the influence of neighborhoods on academic achievement and expectations, drug use and violence, and sexual behavior. Community types differentially influence behaviors, and both urban and rural communities are discussed. Much research on African American youth living in urban communities has discussed the negative consequences of living in urban communities. Some of this research is discussed, and along with it, we include a discussion of community resources and assets. Rural communities present unique challenges and strengths, and they are also discussed. The chapter concludes with a summary followed by a recommendation and resource section.


Community Violence African American Male Violence Exposure African American Youth Positive Youth Development 
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  1. Eccles, J., & Gootman, J. A. (2005). Community Programs to Promote Youth Development. This report is a project of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families within the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education of the National Research Council, and the Institute of Medicine. The report is available from the National Academies Press at (800) 624–6242 or via the National Academics Press web-site at
  2. Community Programs to Promote Youth Development: Report Brief: November 2004. Available from:

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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