Researchers have shown — and teachers know — that schoolchildren exposed to neighborhood violence can have a tougher time learning, experiencing more stress and depression than their peers growing up in safe neighborhoods.

But a Johns Hopkins University sociologist discovered that the consequences of neighborhood violence reach further than previously known, even spilling over to students who come from safe neighborhoods. Using crime and student data from Chicago, Julia Burdick-Will linked exposure to neighborhood violence to a drop in test scores, an effect that extended to students coming from communities that experienced little or no violence.

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