Opportunity Neighborhoods for Latino and African American Children

Anna Maria Santiago, et al., March 2014, available here 


"The Denver Child Study explores the extent to which multiple dimensions of neighborhood context affect the physical and behavioral health, exposure to violence, risky behaviors, education, youth and young adult labor market outcomes, and marriage and childbearing of Latino and African-American children and youth from low-income families. The study uses a natural experiment involving the Denver, Colorado, Housing Authority (DHA), which since 1969 has operated public housing units located in a wide range of neighborhoods throughout the city and county of Denver. Because the initial assignment of households on the DHA waiting list to vacant public housing units (and, thus, to neighborhoods) mimics a random process, this program represents an unusual opportunity for reducing parental geographic selection bias and observing the unusual combination of low-income, minority youths raised for extended periods in advantaged (as well as disadvantaged) neighborhoods.

In this study, we analyze data from several administrative sources and data we have collected from telephone and in-person surveys with Latino or African-American current and former DHA tenants whose children were the appropriate ages when they lived in DHA housing. Our surveys provide retrospective information on a battery of youth outcomes, family characteristics, and residential histories. By merging this information we have created a pseudo-longitudinal panel providing for each year of children’s lives detailed characteristics about their families, neighborhoods, and outcomes in many domains."

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