Assessing the Modified Neighborhood Cohesion Instrument Among African American Adolescents Living in Public Housing: An Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis


Objective: African American youths are disproportionately overrepresented in low-resourced segregated urban neighborhoods. Consequently, they experience greater exposure to neighborhood risks and subsequent depressive symptoms. Neighborhood cohesion represents a protective factor for youth in such environments. However, the concept remains underexplored among African American youths. This study examines the psychometric properties of a modified version of the Neighborhood Cohesion Instrument (NCI) among African American youths living in public housing. Method: Psychometric properties were assessed through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses using data from African American youths (N=235 ) living in public housing in Philadelphia, PA, and New York, NY. Results: The exploratory factor analysis resulted in the use of a single-factor structure with two dropped items and good internal validity. Findings from the confirmatory factor analysis indicated that model fit indices were unacceptable for chi-square and RMSEA (χ2[62;N=235]=170.19 , p<.001 ); RMSEA=0.09 , 90% CI [0.071, 0.102]) but were acceptable for SRMR and CFI (SRMR=0.06 ; CFI=0.91 ) with three error covariances. Conclusions: The modified NCI is not ideal for assessing neighborhood cohesion among African American youths. Future research should prioritize psychometric testing alongside cognitive interviewing to provide a contextualized measure of neighborhood cohesion for this population.


Social Work

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research


University of Chicago Press

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Document Type



© 2023 Society for Social Work and Research.