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South, Scott J.; Crowder, Kyle D; & . (2000). The Declining Significance of Neighborhoods? Marital Transitions in Community Context. Social Forces, 78(3), 1067-1099.


Recent theories addressing the impact of neighborhood socioeconomic status on family formation are integrated with a broader theoretical literature specifying the conditions under which local neighborhood conditions influence social behavior in order to develop hypotheses relating neighborhood disadvantage to the timing of first marriage. Even-history analyses of data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for 1969-93 show that, among whites, residing in a disadvantaged neighborhood hastens the entry into first marriage, while among blacks, neighborhood disadvantage delays marital entry Among whites, the positive impact of neighborhood disadvantage on marriage probabilities declines with age. Among blacks, the inverse effect of neighborhood disadvantage on marital timing declines with length of residence in the neighborhood Only among white males does the impact of neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage decline significantly between 1969 and 1993. Moreover, for white males, the effect of neighborhood SES is weaker for metropolitan than for nonmetropolitan residents and is stronger for long-term than for short-term neighborhood residents.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Social Forces


South, Scott J.
Crowder, Kyle D