African American family and parenting strategies in impoverished neighborhoods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article considers how qualitative insights can inform quantitatively-derived neighborhood effects theories. Neighborhood effects theories argue that inner-city areas lack social and economic resources that promote the social mobility prospects of African American children. Consequently, children who grow up in impoverished neighborhoods are at risk for dropping out of school, bearing children prematurely, and engaging in delinquent activities. Qualitative studies, however, identify family and parenting strategies that buffer children from the risks associated with inner-city residence. When these practices are used, children are more likely to complete high school, forego premature childbearing, and participate in prosocial activities. Insights from qualitative studies expand on neighborhood effects theories by identifying variations in child social mobility prospects and the processes by which conventional outcomes are achieved. More specifically, qualitative studies focus attention on important factors that permit children to succeed, despite social and economic obstacles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-288
Number of pages14
JournalQualitative Sociology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997


  • African american children
  • African american families
  • Qualitative research
  • Underclass
  • Urban ethnography
  • Urban poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'African American family and parenting strategies in impoverished neighborhoods'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this