Neighborhood Context and Adolescent Psychological and Behavioral Health

The goal of this study was to explore linkages between neighborhood conditions and adolescents’ mental health. In collaboration with Ohio State University, and using data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN), we aimed to:

(1) Examine the influence of neighborhood structural characteristics (concentrated poverty and affluence, residential stability, immigrant concentration, and land use) and neighborhood social processes (collective efficacy, disorder, social ecologies, and institutional resources) on adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing problems;

(2) Examine the role that traumatic community-based experiences (i.e., exposure to violence) and key developmental contexts (i.e., parent and peer relationships) play in mediating relations between neighborhood social processes and adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing problems;

(3) Explore to the extent to which neighborhood processes moderate the influence of traumatic community-based experiences and key developmental contexts on adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing problems; and

(4) Examine the intersecting roles played by neighborhood processes and key individual-level demographic characteristics (i.e., gender and race/ethnicity) in the development of adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing problems.

Funding Sources: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Contact: Margo Gardner, Ph.D.