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Black Mothers' Perceptions about Urban Neighborhood Safety and Outdoor Play for their Preadolescent Daughters


Using narratives of single low-income Black mothers with preadolescent children in a high-crime neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey, this study aims (1) to understand if and how neighborhood safety influences mothers' decisions about allowing their daughters to play outdoors and (2) to identify what neighborhood changes would need to occur to alter their perceptions about safety. Mothers reported that unpredictable violence, related to drug and gang activity of neighbors, and the absence of safe play areas in their neighborhood led them to sequester their daughters indoors. Hostile neighborhood conditions contributed to children's physical inactivity and put girls at risk for obesity.

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