Barrios and burbs: Residential context and health-risk behaviors among angeleno adolescents

Reanne Frank, Magdalena Cerda, Maria Rendón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The increasing size of the Latino immigrant population in the United States underscores the need for a more complete understanding of the role that social context plays in influencing the health of immigrants and their children. This analysis explores the possibility that residential location influences the health-risk behaviors of Latino youth in Los Angeles County, California. The data come from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey. We apply multivariate, multilevel Rasch models to two scales of adolescent health-risk behaviors (substance use and delinquency). The findings suggest that residence in Census tracts characterized by above-county-average levels of Latinos and above-county-average levels of poverty is associated with increased odds of health-risk behaviors for Latino adolescents, particularly for those born in the United States. The findings lend support to the contention, put forth in the segmented assimilation literature, that disadvantaged urban contexts increase the risk that U.S.-born children of immigrants will experience downward assimilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-300
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Health and Social Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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