Growing Up in Poor Neighborhoods: How Much Does It Matter?

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Science  17 Mar 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4897, pp. 1441-1445
DOI: 10.1126/science.243.4897.1441


This article is a review of research on how much the life chances of children are affected by the socioeconomic and racial mix of their schools and neighborhoods. The social mix of a high school has little effect on students' chances of attending college or on white students' academic achievement. Evidence about the effect of the socioeconomic mix of schools or neighborhoods on achievement of elementary school students, on graduation rates of high school students, on teenage crime, and on early labor market experience is weak. Growing up in poor neighborhoods seems to increase black teenage pregnancy rates.

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