Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 63–74 | Cite as

School Engagement Among Urban Adolescents of Color: Does Perception of Social Support and Neighborhood Safety Really Matter?

  • Brian P. Daly
  • Richard Q. Shin
  • Charu Thakral
  • Michael Selders
  • Elizabeth Vera
Empirical Research


In this study we examined the effects of risk factors (perceived neighborhood crime/delinquency problems, neighborhood incivilities) and protective factors (teacher support, family support, peer support) on the school engagement of 123 urban adolescents of color. Age and gender were also examined to determine if different ages (younger or older) or genders (male or female) significantly modified the relationship between the risk factors and school engagement. Results indicated that perceived neighborhood incivilities was uniquely predictive of school engagement. Contrary to hypotheses, different levels of the perceived social support variables did not modify the effects of risky neighborhood conditions on adolescent’s perceived school engagement. Age, but not gender, significantly modified the relationship between perceived family social support and perceived neighborhood crime on adolescents’ reported levels of school engagement. The implications of the results for prevention and intervention programs that address school engagement among early adolescents of color are considered.


Protective factors Risk/resilience Neighborhood Social support School context School engagement 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian P. Daly
    • 1
  • Richard Q. Shin
    • 2
  • Charu Thakral
    • 3
  • Michael Selders
    • 4
  • Elizabeth Vera
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Public HealthTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Counseling and Human ServicesSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Illinois-ChicagoChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Counseling CenterUniversity of Illinois-ChicagoChicagoUSA
  5. 5.Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Counseling PsychologyLoyola University ChicagoChicagoUSA

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