Girl next door and marriage viability.
May 9, 2010 2:43 PM   Subscribe

Several years ago I read a small stack of relationship books. I swear it was in Maggie Scarf's Intimate Partners, but having re-read that one cover to cover looking for the precise blip it is not in that one. Do you know of any anthropology or psychology or sociology academic study which (perhaps famously and/or authoritatively) concludes: the best prediction of relationship success is you grew up in the same (or very similar) neighborhoods? Google pulls up a million results but not the one I am looking for.

(This is a repeat. I asked it before and got no replies.)

posted by bukvich to Society & Culture (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've read this too, but unfortunately all I can offer is solidarity because I just searched a bit and can't figure out where it's from. My source was likely different from yours as I've never read any relationship books, but I do read a lot of pop-psych and sociology type stuff.

I think it was also mentioned that the neighborhood a child grows up in has a much greater effect on his or her success in life than any other aspect of nurture (parental education, income level, extracurriculars, school district, etc.), but it's possible that that was from a different book entirely.

I'll come back if anything comes to me . . .
posted by Fifi Firefox at 3:41 PM on May 9, 2010

Just read about this in chapter 5 (or is it 6?) of Freakonomics.

Basically, Chicago Public Schools was one of the first school districts to desegregate their schools. Students who wanted to go to a school outside their neighborhood were picked by lottery, so some kids went to high-performing schools, and some remained in low-performing schools.

Levitt's research found that two students from the same neighborhood would perform about as well as each other regardless of which school they went to; that is, he found the determining factor to be what neighborhood they were from, not which school they went to.

Okay, on preview, and reading your question more closely, you're asking about relationship success, not success in general. Relationship success was not mentioned in Freakonomics, but maybe this will put you on the right track. Sorry.
posted by malapropist at 11:29 AM on July 22, 2010

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