Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

January 2007


Published in Development and Psychopathology 19 (2007), 565-584. Copyright 2007 Cambridge University Press. Used by permission.


Exposure to developmental risks in three domains (community, economic, and family), and relations between risks and psychosocial well-being, were examined among 918 impoverished Brazilian youth aged 14-19 (M = 15.8 years, 51.9% female) recruited in low-income neighborhoods in one city in Southern Brazil. High levels of developmental risks were reported, with levels and types of risks varying by gender, age, and (to a lesser extent) race. Associations between levels of risks in the various domains and indicators of psychological (e.g., self-esteem, negative emotionality) and behavioral (e.g., substance use) adjustment differed for male and female respondents. Findings build on prior research investigating the development of young people in conditions of pervasive urban poverty and reinforce the value of international research in this endeavor.