Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Major/Program

Public Health

First Advisor's Name

Mary Jo Trepka

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Wensong Wu

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Kristopher P. Fennie

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Gladys Ibañez

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Miguel Á. Cano

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Sixth Advisor's Name

Jeremy W. Pettit

Sixth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Keywords

Neighborhood structural disadvantage, adolescents, depressive symptoms, collective efficacy, neighborhood disorder, neighborhood safety, neighborhood contentment, neighborhood social environment

Date of Defense

9-9-2019

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation was to examine (1) the moderating role of parental neighborhood perceptions on the relationship between neighborhood structural disadvantage and adolescent depressive symptoms, (2) if adolescent neighborhood perceptions moderated the association between neighborhood structural disadvantage and adolescent depressive symptoms, and (3) the effects of neighborhood structural disadvantage on depressive symptom trajectories as well as the moderating role of neighborhood perceptions on the relationship from adolescence to young adulthood. Data came from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) (N=12,105), and random effects multilevel modeling along with growth curve modeling were used.

Results showed that parental-perceived neighborhood disorder was significantly associated with higher levels of adolescent depressive symptoms (β=0.27, SE=0.05, p≤0.001), while adolescent-perceived neighborhood social cohesion (β=0.24, SE=0.04, p≤0.001) and safety (β=0.47, SE=0.04, p≤0.001) were significantly associated with lower depressive symptoms among adolescents after full adjustment. Parental-perceived collective efficacy was not associated with adolescent depressive symptoms (p>0.05). Interactions between neighborhood concentrated poverty and parental-perceived neighborhood disorder, adolescent-perceived collective efficacy, contentment, and safety were also significant (p≤0.05). Parental-perceived collective efficacy was not found to be a moderator (p>0.05).

Findings suggest that aspects of the neighborhood social environment may help to buffer against depression, particularly in high poverty neighborhoods. Components of neighborhood structural disadvantage and disorder, collective efficacy, contentment, and safety could serve as targets for the development of structural and other intervention strategies such as community-level interventions, aimed at reducing or preventing depression. Ultimately, addressing neighborhood structural disadvantage and improving the social environment may help to reduce depressive symptoms among adolescents as well as depression prevalence and risk, thereby reducing the growing mental health burden among youth.

Identifier

FIDC008887

ORCID

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9293-6038

Available for download on Friday, August 13, 2021

Included in

Epidemiology Commons

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