Adolescent Mental Health: Neighborhood Stress Effects on Emotional Distress

Jerald Herting, University of Washington
Karen A. Snedker, University of Washington
Emily C. Walton, University of Washington

This paper investigates the influence of neighborhood context on emotional distress among youth. The majority of research on adolescent mental health has generally not emphasized the role of contextual factors such as neighborhood disadvantage or disorder conditions. While such contextual conditions have been linked to general health for adults and children, specific links to mental health are under-explored. The analysis uses a stratified random cluster sample of 2,025 high school aged youth from the Seattle Metropolitan area to explore the relation between neighborhood measures of disadvantage and instability and youth depression, hopelessness, and suicide behaviors. Hierarchical linear models are employed to explore both direct and moderating effects on context.

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Presented in Session 140: Social Context and Mental Health