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PLACES OF WORSHIP AND NEIGHBORHOOD STABILITY

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ABSTRACT: 

Despite ongoing interest in religious group involvement in community development, only limited research has considered whether the mere existence of a place of worship can be linked to neighborhood well-being. This exploratory study uses a cross-sectional design to examine the relationships between the presence of churches in high-poverty neighborhoods and specific measures of neighborhood stability. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and geographic information system (GIS) software were employed to compare measures of structural permanence, residential tenure, and property valuation from a sample of two types of church (freestanding and storefront) and non-church areas or “clusters.” The findings provide limited support for the conclusion that storefront churches, while modest and often regarded as less architecturally significant, may be overlooked contributors to the sort of stable urban space where residential population is preserved and investment maintained.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Missouri–St. Louis

Publication date: 2006-09-01

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