urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

Resilient Children in Distressed Neighborhoods

Evidence from the HOPE VI Panel Study

Read complete document: PDF


PrintPrint this page
Share:
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Digg Share on Reddit
| Email this pageE-mail
Document date: February 07, 2005
Released online: February 07, 2005

Brief #7 from the series Metropolitan Housing and Communities: A Roof Over Their Heads

The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders.

Note: This report is available in its entirety in the Portable Document Format (PDF).


The HOPE VI program (see page 7) targets the nation's most distressed public housing— impoverished communities with substandard housing and extreme levels of drug trafficking and violent crime. Children growing up in these environments confront numerous obstacles, including a social world dominated by the drug economy, bad schools, and, frequently, parents coping with problems of their own. These obstacles place them at risk for serious consequences including developmental delays, behavior problems, and poor school outcomes (Brooks-Gunn, Duncan, and Aber 1997; Leventhal and Brooks-Gunn 2000). Children in HOPE VI sites face the additional hurdle of involuntary relocation, which can disrupt academic achievement and increase behavior problems, especially if children are forced to change schools mid-year (Leventhal and Brooks-Gunn 2003; Hartmann 2002; Wood et al. 1993).

The HOPE VI Panel Study tracks outcomes for original residents at five sites where redevelopment activities began in 2001 (see page 7). A primary goal of the HOPE VI program is to improve residents' living environment. The program can profoundly affect the lives of children, who are the most vulnerable residents of distressed public housing and particularly likely to suffer from the stress of relocation (Leventhal and Brooks-Gunn 2003). At baseline in 2001, our surveys with residents documented many potential risk factors for HOPE VI Panel Study children—even before relocation. But our in-depth interviews showed that some children were doing surprisingly well, apparently succeeding in school and thriving despite the challenges they faced. In this brief, we explore the factors that help make these children more resilient than others and better able to cope successfully with the obstacles in their environment.


Note: This report is available in its entirety in the Portable Document Format (PDF).



Topics/Tags: | Children and Youth | Housing


Usage and reprints: Most publications may be downloaded free of charge from the web site and may be used and copies made for research, academic, policy or other non-commercial purposes. Proper attribution is required. Posting UI research papers on other websites is permitted subject to prior approval from the Urban Institute—contact publicaffairs@urban.org.

If you are unable to access or print the PDF document please contact us or call the Publications Office at (202) 261-5687.

Disclaimer: The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders. Copyright of the written materials contained within the Urban Institute website is owned or controlled by the Urban Institute.

Email this Page