The Effect of Collective Efficacy and Neighborhood Structural Disadvantage on Depressive Symptoms among Adolescents in the United States
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
First Advisor's Name
Mary Jo Trepka
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Second Advisor's Committee Title
Third Advisor's Name
Kristopher P. Fennie
Third Advisor's Committee Title
Fourth Advisor's Name
Fourth Advisor's Committee Title
Fifth Advisor's Name
Miguel Á. Cano
Fifth Advisor's Committee Title
Sixth Advisor's Name
Jeremy W. Pettit
Sixth Advisor's Committee Title
Neighborhood structural disadvantage, adolescents, depressive symptoms, collective efficacy, neighborhood disorder, neighborhood safety, neighborhood contentment, neighborhood social environment
Date of Defense
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.
Dawson, Christyl Teres, "The Effect of Collective Efficacy and Neighborhood Structural Disadvantage on Depressive Symptoms among Adolescents in the United States" (2019). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4366.
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