Neighbourhood effects on educational attainment of adolescents, buffered by personality and educational commitment

Jaap Nieuwenhuis, Pieter Hooimeijer, W.H.J. Meeus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Research has repeatedly shown that neighbourhood disadvantage negatively influences individual educational outcomes. However, the great variation in outcomes indicates substantial unobserved heterogeneity. Looking at the rates of obtaining a basic educational qualification, the hypothesis is that individual traits of adolescents can buffer neighbourhood effects. First, adolescents with a more resilient personality may be better able to cope with neighbourhood adversity. And second, educational commitments might buffer adolescents from negative neighbourhood influences. These hypotheses are tested employing survival analysis, using six wave panel data, containing information on ten years of adolescents’ lives. The results show that resilients experience no negative influence of neighbourhood disadvantage, while both undercontrollers and overcontrollers do. And, the stronger adolescents’ educational commitments, the less they experience the negative effect of neighbourhood adversity. In sum, neighbourhood effects are found, but not for everybody.
Keywords: Neighbourhood effects, Personality types, Educational commitment, Adolescents, Longitudinal
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-109
JournalSocial Science Research
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Neighbourhood effects
  • Personality types
  • Educational commitment
  • Adolescents
  • Longitudinal


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