Adolescent Discrimination in Neighborhood Context
Bryan L. Sykes, Ph.D.
Department of Criminology, Law and Society
University of California, Irvine
Monday, October 27th
Abstract: The circumstances surrounding the death of Trayvon Martin raise important sociological questions about the prevalence and frequency of discrimination experienced by adolescents. Past work extensively documents how stereotype threat operates in controlled testing environments. Yet, no research examines how neighborhood context matters in the production of stereotype threat among adolescents. Using data from the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) 2011-2012, we investigate racial differences in discriminatory experiences among youth by neighborhood type. After controlling for an extensive set of neighborhood, institutional, and social background characteristics, we find that, compared to whites, non-whites are more likely to experience discrimination in both safe and unsafe neighborhoods, with the frequency of discrimination depending on both race and residential context. However, results from case-control methods indicate that the selection bias associated social background characteristics explains approximately 37 to 55% of the difference in discrimination experienced between white and non-white adolescents in different neighborhoods. Adjustments for selection reveal that neighborhood context does not explain the discriminatory experiences of young, black males.
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Our colloquium series is open to the public. Drinks and snacks will be provided.