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The education of many Latino youth residing in urban communities is often hindered by fear of crime and violence occurring in places where they live and attend school. Addressing these concerns, this study tested a path model predicting school engagement that included neighborhood and school environment variables (e.g., neighborhood youth behavior, neighborhood safety, and school safety) and social support variables (e.g., teacher support, friend support, parent support, and neighbor support). A total of 226 Latino youth from an urban middle school in the northeastern United States participated in the study. The hypothesized model was found to fit data from the sample and showed direct effects of teacher support, friend support, and parent support on school engagement. In addition, neighborhood youth behavior and neighborhood safety influenced school engagement indirectly through its effect on social support variables. Implications for school-based interventions are discussed.



Published Citation

Garcia-Reid, P., Reid, R. J., & Peterson, N. A. (2005). School engagement among Latino youth in an urban middle school context: Valuing the role of social support. Education and urban society, 37(3), 257-275.