Miami Study Shows Youth Less Likely to Have Conduct Problems If They Lived in Mixed-Use Neighborhoods

The Role of the Built Environment in Risk and Protection for Drug Abuse: Policy Implications

Researchers at the Center for Family Studies and the School of Architecture at the University of Miami, the Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies at the University of Maine and the Institute for Juvenile Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago examined the connection between the built environment in which children live and their school conduct and academic grades.

They conducted the study in the East Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, one of Miami's poorest neighborhoods.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) Substance Abuse Policy Research Program (for more information see Program Results).

Key Findings:

  • Youth living on solely residential blocks in East Little Havana were 1.74 times more likely to have conduct problems than children living on mixed-use blocks (i.e., those that included residential, commercial, institutional and other uses).
  • Some 38 percent of conduct problems were associated with the specific risk of living on a solely residential block, above and beyond the risks associated with living on a mixed-use block.
  • There was no significant difference in academic grades between children living on solely residential versus mixed-use blocks.