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School as a safe haven in disadvantaged neighborhoods
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. (Center for Developmental Research, JPS: Psychology, Örebro)
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. (Center for Developmental Research, JPS: Psychology, Örebro)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7546-2275
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. (Center for Developmental Research, JPS: Psychology, Örebro)
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

We proposed that for adolescents living in disadvantaged neighborhoods schools environments could create a contrast to the out-of-school settings. We proposed two contrast effects, in which experiences that are better than expected are perceived as even better. First, we hypothesized that adolescents in disadvantaged neighborhoods would perceive their schools as more open to their influence than youths in advantaged neighborhoods, due to the contrast with the typical home environments in these neighborhoods. Second, compared with adolescents in advantaged neighborhoods, we expected adolescents in disadvantaged neighborhoods to perceive their schools as secure and safe due to the contrast they would make to their more threatening and dangerous neighborhoods. Because these contrast effects, we predicted that youths in disadvantaged neighborhoods would perceive their school as safe havens to a higher extent than other youths. We tested the idea using a sample of 1,390 adolescents living in disadvantaged and advantaged neighborhoods (Mage = 14.34, SD = 1.01). Both contrast effects were supported at the neighborhood level. Compared with adolescents in advantaged neighborhoods, those in disadvantaged neighborhoods perceived their schools as allowing more student influence and as equally safe. Adolescents in disadvantaged neighborhoods also perceived their schools as safe havens more than adolescents from advantaged neighborhoods. The results were significant independent of immigrant status, but they were more salient for immigrant adolescents in these neighborhoods. In conclusion, for adolescents in disadvantaged neighborhoods, a school setting perceived as safe and open to influence can function as a contrast to the out-of-school settings.

Keywords [en]
school, neighborhood, adolescents, influence, safety, contrast effects
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-26380OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-26380DiVA, id: diva2:565462
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2012-11-07 Created: 2012-11-07 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Embedded in a context: the adaptation of immigrant youth
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Embedded in a context: the adaptation of immigrant youth
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

With rising levels of immigration comes a need to know what fosters positive adaptation for the youth growing up in a new culture of settlement.The issue is increasingly studied; however, little of the research conducted has combined a developmental with a contextual approach. The aim of this dissertation was to explore the adaptation of immigrant youth on the basis of developmental theories and models which put emphasis on setting or contextual conditions. This entailed viewing immigrant youths as developing organisms that actively interact with their environments. Further, immigrant youths were seen as embedded in multiple settings, at different levels and with different contextual features. Two of the overall research questions addressed how contextual features of the settings in which the youth are embedded were related to adaptation. Results from all three studies combined to show that the contextual feature of a setting is not of prime or sole importance for the adaptation of immigrant youth, and that the contextual feature of SES diversity is of greater importance than theethnic compositions of settings. The next two overall research questions addressed how the linkage between settings was related to adaptation. The results indicated that adaptation is not always setting specific and that what is happening in one setting can be related to adaptation in anothersetting. Further, it was found that the cultural distance between settings is related to adaption, but that contextual factors affect this relationship. Overall, the results of the dissertation suggests that the adaptation of immigrant youth is a complex matter that is explained better by interaction and indirect effects than by main and direct effects. This highlights the importance of taking all settings in which the immigrant youths are embedded into account and to account for how the settings interact to understand the factors that foster and hinder positive adaptation of immigrant youth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2012. p. 78
Series
Örebro Studies in Psychology, ISSN 1651-1328 ; 25
Keywords
immigrant youth, adaptation, development, settings, contextual features, linkage
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-24172 (URN)978-91-7668-883-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-09-28, Hörsal B, Billbergska huset, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

The article "Homophily in friendship networks of immigrant and nonimmigrantyouth: Does context matter?" in the list of studies is published electronically as "Peer selection and influence of delinquent behavior of immigrant and nonimmigrant youths: does context matter?"

Available from: 2012-07-30 Created: 2012-07-30 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Svensson, YlvaStattin, HåkanKerr, Margaret

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