Residential Stability, Neighborhood Racial Composition, and the Subjective Assessment of Neighborhood Problems

Scott Schieman, University of Toronto

Does residential stability and racial composition of the neighborhood influence perceived neighborhood problems? If so, are those effects additive or interactive? And, does that association depend on race of the individual? Among a sample of adults aged 65 years and older, findings indicate that the patterns are contingent upon race. For whites, residential stability is associated negatively perceived neighborhood problems—but only when the percent black in the neighborhood is low. Those patterns hold irrespective of individual socioeconomic circumstances and community-level structural disadvantage. By contrast, for blacks, residential stability and the percentage of blacks in the neighborhood are both associated negatively with perceived neighborhood problems, although adjustments for individual-level socioeconomic characteristics and community-level disadvantage fully account for those patterns. These findings have implications for theories about the interplay between residential mobility and racial composition, as well as race differences in the links between contextual conditions and subjective assessments of neighborhood problems.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration, Income, Employment, Neighborhoods and Residential Context