Neighborhood Stress Effects on Changes in Adolescent Mental Health

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

This paper investigates the influence of neighborhood context on growth or changes in 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 or how contextual variables impact changes in health outcomes. 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 1,185 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. Multi-level growth models are employed to explore both direct and moderating effects on context on changes in measure of adolescent mental health.

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Presented in Poster Session 5