Understanding Racial Differences in Exposure to Violent Areas: Integrating Survey, Smartphone, and Administrative Data Resources

Christopher R. Browning, Catherine A. Calder, Jodi L. Ford, Bethany Boettner, Anna L. Smith, Dana Haynie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Emerging evidence indicates that exposure to areas prone to violence may influence youth well-being. We employ smartphone GPS data on a sample of urban youth to examine the extent of, and potential explanations for, racial disparities in these exposures. We use data from the Adolescent Health and Development in Context study, which continuously collects GPS data from the smartphones of participating youth for a week, to analyze exposure to violent areas. We find that exposure varies significantly across days of the week and between youth who reside in the same neighborhood. African American youth are exposed to areas with substantially higher levels of violence. Residing in a disadvantaged neighborhood is significantly associated with exposure to violence and explains some of the racial difference in this outcome, but neighborhood factors are incomplete explanations of the racial disparity. Characteristics of the locations at which youth spend time explain the residual racial disparity in exposure to violent areas. These findings highlight the importance of youth activity spaces, above and beyond their neighborhood environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-62
Number of pages22
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Volume669
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2017 by The American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Keywords

  • activity spaces
  • adolescents
  • exposure to violence
  • neighborhoods
  • social disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (all)

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