Neighborhood Violent Crime and Academic Performance: A Geospatial Analysis. By: Boxer, Paul; Drawve, Grant; Caplan, Joel M. American Journal of Community Psychology. Jun2020, Vol. 65 Issue 3/4, p343-352. 10p. 4 Charts, 1 Graph.


  • Research on children’s exposure to violence in communities is limited by measurement approaches.
  • Geospatial analytic strategies offer a new way to capture experiences with community violence.
  • Violence around school buildings relates to average achievement of students in those buildings.

Decades of empirical work have confirmed that experiences with violence are associated with a variety of adverse behavioral and mental health as well as academic outcomes for children and adolescents. Yet this research largely has relied on indirect measures of exposure. In this study, we apply geospatial analysis to examine the relation between neighborhood violent crime (via police reports) and academic performance (via school‐level standardized test proficiency rates). Findings suggest that greater numbers of crimes proximal to school buildings relate to lower levels of academic performance. These results persisted even when controlling economic disadvantage in the student body. Implications for research and policy are discussed.