Place Based Developmental Research: Conceptual and Methodological Advances in Studying Youth Development in Context

Volume 88, Issue 3, Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development

By Dawn P. Witherspoon, Rebecca M. B. White, Mayra Y. Bámaca, Christopher R. Browning, Tamara G. J. Leech, Tama Leventhal, Stephen A. Matthews, Nicolo Pinchak, Amanda L. Roy, Naomi Sugie, and Erin N. Winkler

Included in this issue:


Development unfolds in numerous contexts. Neighborhood effects research has long examined development within neighborhoods contexts, but two recent perspectives have emerged from neighborhood effects research that, combined, are theoretically and empirically generative for understanding development in context.  Cultural-developmental researchers are advancing neighborhood effects scholarship that recognizes the ways that racial, ethnic, cultural, and immigrant social positions matter for neighborhoods and for youths’ development. Activity space researchers recognize that residential neighborhoods have important implications for broader activity spaces – the set of locations and settings to which youth are regularly exposed – and are using newer technologies and geographic frameworks to assess exposure to residential neighborhood and extra-neighborhood environments. Unfortunately, the two perspectives have been advancing largely independently. Thus, this monograph’s aim is to integrate scholarship on residential neighborhoods, cultural development, and activity spaces to advance a framework that can support a better understanding of development in context for diverse groups.

About the Authors



Time and Space

Activity Space

Exemplar Incorporation of Monograph Recommendations and Contribution to Developmental Science

How did this group come about?

Place-Based Framework: Examples and Recommendations

‘Levels’ Mentioned in the Monograph

Teaching and Research Resources