Social Science Research

Yang, Tse-Chuan*, I-Chien Chen, Seulki Kim, and Seung-won Choi


Though the adverse consequences of perceived housing discrimination have been documented, little is known about whether such experience undermines one’s social capital in a neighborhood and even less is about whether and how this relationship is altered by neighborhood features. We proposed a framework that simultaneously considers within-individual and between-neighborhood processes. We applied multilevel structural equation models to data from Philadelphia (n = 9987) and found that (a) perceived housing discrimination was negatively associated with one’s social capital even after other confounders were considered, (b) this negative association could be partly explained by the proliferated daily stress and anxiety mechanisms, (c) differential exposures to neighborhood social disadvantage accounted for the variation in social capital across neighborhoods, and (d) the adverse association between perceived housing discrimination and social capital could be attenuated by neighborhood stability. The findings suggested that appropriate interventions should buffer the negative association of perceived housing discrimination with social capital.

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* Denotes CSDA Associates, Affiliates, and Staff