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Author: Mennemeyer, Stephen T.
Resulting in 2 citations.
1. Mennemeyer, Stephen T.
Sen, Bisakha
Undesirable Juvenile Behavior and the Quality of Parental Relationships
Southern Economic Journal 73,2 (October 2006): 437-460.
Cohort(s): NLSY97
Publisher: Allen Press, Inc.
Keyword(s): Adolescent Behavior; Home Environment; Household Structure; Marital Status; Parent-Child Relationship/Closeness; Parental Influences

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

We examine how undesirable juvenile behavior is related to the structure and quality of home life. In homes with both own-parents or one parent and another adult partner, we distinguish among unhappy, moderately happy, and very happy relationships for the adults. Single-parents are treated as one category. Living with both own-parents in a very or moderately happy relationship is associated with reduced likelihood of most undesirable behaviors. In most cases, we cannot reject the hypothesis that the probability of juvenile undesirable behavior is the same across own-parents in an unhappy relationship, a very or moderately happy parent and stepparent, and a single-parent.

In this article we address this latter question by looking at a unique set of questions that were asked to three waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97). Teenage children (we use the terms youth, teenager, and child/children as synonyms throughout this article to describe these individuals) were asked about how the parent or parent-figures in their household treated each other. Teenage children were also asked how much these figures knew about the child's own friends and behavior. Additionally, the teenagers were asked about their own behavior with regard to a number of undesirable activities, including (but not limited to) smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, using marijuana, stealing, destroying property, and physical fighting. We combine this information to examine how the likelihood of undesirable juvenile behavior is affected by both family structure and the quality of the relationships among the household's members.

Bibliography Citation
Mennemeyer, Stephen T. and Bisakha Sen. "Undesirable Juvenile Behavior and the Quality of Parental Relationships." Southern Economic Journal 73,2 (October 2006): 437-460.
2. Sen, Bisakha
Mennemeyer, Stephen T.
Gary, Lisa C.
The Relationship Between Neighborhood Quality and Obesity Among Children
NBER Working Paper No. 14985, National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2009.
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Child Health; Mothers, Education; Neighborhood Effects; Obesity; Weight

It has long been posited by scientists that we need to have a better understanding in the role that larger contextual factors -- like neighborhood quality and the built environment -- may have on the nation's obesity crisis. This paper explores whether maternal perceptions of neighborhood quality affect children's bodyweight outcomes, and whether racial and ethnic differences in such perceptions may explain any of the hitherto unexplained gap in bodyweight and obesity prevalence among Whites and minorities. The project uses data from the NLSY79 and the CoNLSY datasets. Results indicate that overall neighborhood quality is not significantly related to children's bodyweight. However, one particular characteristic, namely whether or not the mother believes there is enough police protection in the neighborhood, is related. Lack of police protection has robust and significant effects on the BMI-percentile of the children, though it has less robust effects on the risk of becoming obese per se. Finally, there are differences in perceptions about adequate police protection in their neighborhood between Whites and minorities which remain after controlling for other socio-economic characteristics like maternal education, family income and family structure. However, these differences play a minor role in explaining part of the gap in bodyweight between White and minority children.
Bibliography Citation
Sen, Bisakha, Stephen T. Mennemeyer and Lisa C. Gary. "The Relationship Between Neighborhood Quality and Obesity Among Children." NBER Working Paper No. 14985, National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2009.