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Neighborhood Socioeconomic Disadvantage, Residential Stability, and Perceptions of Social Support among New Mothers


  • Kristin Turney

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Kristen Harknett

    (University of Pennsylvania)


Neighborhoods are important sites for the formation and development of social ties. In theory, living in a disadvantaged neighborhood may be associated with lacking social support. We investigate this hypothesis among mothers of young children using longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study (N=4,211). We find that mothers in disadvantaged neighborhoods, compared with their counterparts in better neighborhoods, are less likely to have a safety net of friends or family to rely on for monetary or housing assistance. We also find that residential stability is associated with stronger personal safety nets. For mothers who move when their children are young, moving to a better neighborhood seems to have little effect on their perceived instrumental support, but moving to a more disadvantaged neighborhood is associated with a decline in instrumental support.

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  • Kristin Turney & Kristen Harknett, 2007. "Neighborhood Socioeconomic Disadvantage, Residential Stability, and Perceptions of Social Support among New Mothers," Working Papers 900, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:crcwel:wp07-08-ff.pdf

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    1. Reichman, Nancy E. & Teitler, Julien O. & Garfinkel, Irwin & McLanahan, Sara S., 2001. "Fragile Families: sample and design," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 303-326.
    2. Becky Pettit & Sara McLanahan, 2003. "Residential Mobility and Children's Social Capital: Evidence from an Experiment," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 84(3), pages 632-649.
    3. Steven J. Haider & Kathleen McGarry, 2005. "Recent Trends in Resource Sharing Among the Poor," NBER Working Papers 11612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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