Chapter

The Role of Religious and Social Organizations in the Lives of Disadvantaged Youth

Rajeev Dehejia, Thomas DeLeire, Erzo F. P. Luttmer and Josh Mitchell

in The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780226309453
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226309477 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226309477.003.0009
The Role of Religious and Social Organizations in the Lives of Disadvantaged Youth

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This chapter examines whether religious and social organizations benefit youth by offsetting the long-term consequences of growing up in a disadvantaged environment. Research in economics and other social sciences has documented that children who grow up in poverty have worse physical health, lower levels of cognitive ability, lower levels of school achievement, more emotional and behavioral problems, and higher teenage childbearing rates. The link between poverty and poor outcomes has been hypothesized to be partially due to deficiencies in parenting, home environments, and neighborhoods. The chapter builds on these results by examining whether involvement with religion or social organizations mitigates the long-run negative effects on youth of growing up in a disadvantaged environment. There are significant long-term effects of childhood disadvantages on subsequent outcomes in adulthood.

Keywords: religious organization; social organization; disadvantaged environment; youth; poverty

Chapter.  14724 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Economics

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