Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 195–219 | Cite as

Examining Parenting in the Neighborhood Context: A Review

  • Jessica Cuellar
  • Deborah J. Jones
  • Emma Sterrett
Original Paper


Positive parenting behavior is a robust predictor of child and adolescent psychosocial adjustment; however, contextual factors that relate to parenting itself are not well understood. This limited understanding is, in part, related to the fact that although theories have been put forth to explain the link between ecological context and parenting, there has been little integration of key concepts across these theories or empirical examination to determine their soundness. This review aims to begin to fill this gap by focusing on one contextual influence on parenting in particular, neighborhood context. Specifically, this review utilizes three constructs to provide a framework for integrating and organizing the literature on parenting within the neighborhood context: Danger (capturing crime and concerns for safety), Disadvantage (assessing the absence of institutional and economic resources), and Disengagement (noting the absence of positive social processes in the community). Findings from this review suggest evidence for an association between neighborhood context and positive parenting. Yet these results appear to vary, at least to some extent, depending on which neighborhood construct is examined, the way positive parenting is assessed, and specific sample demographics, including family income and youth gender and age. Findings from this review not only summarize the research to date on neighborhood and parenting, but provide a foundation for future basic and applied work in this area.


Neighborhood Positive parenting Monitoring Warmth Behavioral control 



Support for the writing of this manuscript provided by NICHD Training Program in Research on Black Child Development T32HD049325 to the first author and NIMH R34MH082956 to the second author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica Cuellar
    • 1
  • Deborah J. Jones
    • 1
  • Emma Sterrett
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Raymond A. Kent School of Social WorkUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

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