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Neighborhood Disadvantage and Adult Depression

Catherine E. Ross
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 41, No. 2 (Jun., 2000), pp. 177-187
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2676304
Page Count: 11
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Neighborhood Disadvantage and Adult Depression
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Abstract

Using multilevel data, I find that residents of poor, mother-only neighborhoods have higher levels of depression than residents of more advantaged neighborhoods. My data are from the 1995 Community, Crime and Health survey, a probability sample of 2,482 adults in Illinois with linked information about the respondents' census tract. Adjustment for individual-level race, ethnicity, sex, age, education, employment, income, household structure, and urban residence indicates that more than half of apparent contextual effect is really compositional, due to the fact that residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods tend to be disadvantaged themselves; however, a significant contextual effect survives. All of the distressing effects of female headship and poverty in the neighborhood are mediated by perceived neighborhood disorder. The daily stress of living in a neighborhood where social order has broken down is associated with depression.

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