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Neighborhood Disorder and Risk-Taking Among Justice-Involved Youth-The Mediating Role of Life Expectancy

NCJ Number
Journal of Research on Adolescence Volume: 31 Issue: 2 Dated: 2021 Pages: 282-298
Date Published
17 pages

Using data from the longitudinal Crossroads study, the current study assessed whether life expectancy mediates the association between neighborhood disorder and risk-taking—substance use, crime, and risky sex—among 1,093 justice-involved adolescents.


Neighborhood disorder has been linked to perceptions of shorter life expectancies, and shorter life expectancies have been associated with greater risk-taking. Yet, no studies have combined these two pathways. In addressing this research gap, the current study found that neighborhood disorder was linked to lower estimated life expectancy, which in turn related to higher rates of cigarette use, binge drinking, illicit drug use, offending, and casual sex; however, life expectancy did not explain the association between neighborhood disorder and marijuana use or inconsistent condom use. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2021