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Neighbourhood immigrant concentration effects on migrant and native youth’s educational commitments, an enquiry into personality differences

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Jaap Nieuwenhuis, Pieter Hooimeijer, Maarten Van Ham, Wim Meeus


In the literature examining neighbourhood effects on educational outcomes, the socialisation mechanism is usually investigated by looking at the association between neighbourhood characteristics and educational attainment. The step in between, that adolescents actually internalise educational norms held by residents, is often assumed. We attempt to fill this gap by looking at how the internalisation of educational norms (commitments) is influenced by neighbourhoods’ immigrant concentration. We investigate this process for both migrant and native youth, as both groups might be influenced differently by immigrant concentrations. To test our hypothesis we used longitudinal panel data with five waves (N = 4255), combined with between-within models which control for a large portion of potential selection bias. These models have an advantage over naïve OLS models in that they predict the effect of change in neighbourhood characteristics on change in educational commitment, and therefore offer a more dynamic approach to modelling neighbourhood effects. Our results show that living in neighbourhoods with higher proportions of immigrants increases the educational commitments of migrant youth compared to living in neighbourhoods with lower proportions. Besides, we find that adolescents with a resilient personality experience less influence of the neighbourhood context on educational commitments than do adolescents with non-resilient personalities.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2285-2304
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number10
Early online date31 Mar 2016
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017

    Research areas

  • Adolescents, Educational commitment, Migrant youth, Neighbourhood effects, Personality

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