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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(9), 844;

Mapping the Racial Inequality in Place: Using Youth Perceptions to Identify Unequal Exposure to Neighborhood Environmental Hazards

Boston College School of Social Work, 219 McGuinn Hall, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA
Department of Sociology, Duquese University, 519 College Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jayajit Chakraborty, Sara E. Grineski and Timothy W. Collins
Received: 1 July 2016 / Revised: 10 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 25 August 2016
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Black youth are more likely than white youth to grow up in poor, segregated neighborhoods. This racial inequality in the neighborhood environments of black youth increases their contact with hazardous neighborhood environmental features including violence and toxic exposures that contribute to racial inequality in youth health and well-being. While the concept of neighborhood effects has been studied at length by social scientists, this work has not been as frequently situated within an environmental justice (EJ) paradigm. The present study used youth perceptions gained from in-depth interviews with youth from one Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania neighborhood to identify neighborhood environmental health hazards. We then mapped these youth-identified features to examine how they are spatially and racially distributed across the city. Our results suggest that the intersection of race and poverty, neighborhood disorder, housing abandonment, and crime were salient issues for youth. The maps show support for the youths’ assertions that the environments of black and white individuals across the city of Pittsburgh differ in noteworthy ways. This multi-lens, mixed-method analysis was designed to challenge some of the assumptions we make about addressing environmental inequality using youths’ own opinions on the issue to drive our inquiry. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental justice; neighborhood; poverty; youth; inequality; race environmental justice; neighborhood; poverty; youth; inequality; race

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Teixeira, S.; Zuberi, A. Mapping the Racial Inequality in Place: Using Youth Perceptions to Identify Unequal Exposure to Neighborhood Environmental Hazards. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 844.

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