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Title:A Comparison of Chicago's Scattered Site and Aggregate Public Housing Residents' Psychological Self-Evaluations
Author(s):Larsen, Larissa Susan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Joanne Vining
Department / Program:Urban and Regional Planning
Discipline:Urban and Regional Planning
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Abstract:Changing urban settlement patterns and government housing policies have combined over the past sixty years to create public housing developments that economically and socially isolate residents within inner-city neighborhoods. Recognizing the oppressive conditions of concentrated poverty, scattered site housing programs offer an appealing housing alternative to the density and concentration of past public housing developments for low-income families. Scattered site housing programs integrate low-income residents into neighborhoods with greater economic stability and racial diversity and are therefore believed to offer low-income residents increased employment, education, and social opportunities within their residential neighborhoods. The objectives of this research were to assess whether residents of scattered site housing units expressed greater satisfaction with their homes and neighborhoods and recorded higher scores of well-being relative to residents living in an aggregate public housing development. Focus group interviews generated issues specific to the housing and neighborhood conditions facing low-income Chicago residents. Questions based upon these issues were then combined with psycho-social measures of task self-esteem, perceived control, life satisfaction, and social isolation to create a questionnaire. This questionnaire was completed by a total of 354 residents (46% return rate) living in scattered site housing units and the Henry Horner Homes, an aggregate public housing development. The responses were analyzed using multivariate statistics. Scattered site residents recorded significantly higher satisfaction levels with their homes and neighborhoods and had lower perceptions of danger relative to residents of Henry Horner Homes. Despite the differences in their neighborhoods, scattered site and aggregate public housing residents did not differ in their degrees of social isolation, task self-esteem, perceived control, or life satisfaction. Both groups of residents participated in very few activities and were relatively socially isolated. Length of residence in the neighborhood did not appear to alter long term scattered site residents' responses compared with short term scattered site residents' responses on the psycho-social indicators or their degree of involvement in the formal and informal social networks within the neighborhood. While scattered site housing offers residents improved housing and neighborhood conditions, these findings indicate low-income, adult residents remain socially isolated within their new, scattered site neighborhoods.
Issue Date:1998
Description:171 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9904517
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1998

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