Neighborhood social cohesion and posttraumatic stress disorder in a community-based sample: Findings from the Detroit Neighborhood Health Study
ABSTRACT PURPOSE: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common and debilitating. Although research has identified individual-level risk factors for PTSD, the role of macro-social factors in PTSD etiology remains unknown. This study tests whether perceived neighborhood social cohesion (NSC), measured at the both the individual and neighborhood levels, plays a role in determining past-year risk of PTSD among those exposed to trauma. METHODS: Data (n = 1,221) were obtained from an ongoing prospective epidemiologic study in the city of Detroit. Assessment of traumatic event exposure and PTSD was consistent with DSM-IV criteria. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) and logistic regression models were used to estimate the association of neighborhood-level perceived NSC with the risk of PTSD, adjusting for individual-level perceptions of NSC and other covariates. RESULTS: The odds of past-year PTSD were significantly higher among those residing in a neighborhood with low social cohesion compared to high (OR = 2.44, 95 % CI: 1.58, 3.78), independent of individual sociodemographic characteristics, number of traumas, and individual-level perceptions of NSC. The odds of past-year PTSD were not significantly associated with individual-level perceptions of NSC. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that social context shapes risk of PTSD and suggest that changing the social context may shift vulnerability to this disorder.
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ABSTRACT: Background: Depression is a common and potentially debilitating consequence of traumatic events. Mass traumatic events cause wide-ranging disruptions to community characteristics, influencing the population risk of depression. In the aftermath of such events, population displacement is common. Stressors associated with displacement may increase risk of depression directly. Indirectly, persons who are displaced may experience erosion in social cohesion, further exacerbating their risk for depression. Methods: Using data from a population-based cross-sectional survey of adults living in the 23 southernmost counties of Mississippi (N = 708), we modeled the independent and joint relations of displacement and county-level social cohesion with depression 18-24 months after Hurricane Katrina. Results: After adjustment for individual- and county-level socio-demographic characteristics and county-level hurricane exposure, joint exposure to both displacement and low social cohesion was associated with substantially higher log-odds of depression (b = 1.34 [0.86-1.83]). Associations were much weaker for exposure only to low social cohesion (b = 0.28 [-0.35-0.90]) or only to displacement (b = 0.04 [-0.80-0.88]). The associations were robust to additional adjustment for individually perceived social cohesion and social support. Conclusion: Addressing the multiple, simultaneous disruptions that are a hallmark of mass traumatic events is important to identify vulnerable populations and understand the psychological ramifications of these events.Social Psychiatry 05/2013; 48(11). DOI:10.1007/s00127-013-0698-7 · 2.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Purpose: Many older adults in the USA live in public housing facilities and have characteristics that may place them at risk for cognitive impairment. Cognitive impairment has been largely unexamined in this socioeconomically disadvantaged population, however. We therefore aim to characterize its prevalence and correlates, which may help determine which residents could benefit from additional assistance to optimize their ability to function independently. Methods: We interviewed 190 English-speaking public housing residents aged 60 years and older in Rochester, a city in Western New York, to assess socio-demographics, mental health, physical health and disability, coping strategies and social support, and service utilization. The Mini-Cog dementia screen evaluated cognitive status. Results: Twenty-seven percent of residents screened positive for cognitive impairment. In bivariate analyses, older age, less education, greater duration of residence, worse health, less reliance on adaptive coping strategies, and greater utilization of health services were associated with cognitive impairment; age and worse health remained correlated with cognitive impairment in multivariable analyses. Anxiety, depression, and history of substance misuse were not associated with cognitive impairment. Conclusions: The high level of cognitive impairment in public housing could threaten residents' continued ability to live independently. Further examination is needed on how such threats to their independence are best accommodated so that public housing residents at risk for needing higher levels of care can successfully age in place.Social Psychiatry 05/2013; 49(3). DOI:10.1007/s00127-013-0712-0 · 2.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoking is influenced both by genetic and environmental factors. Until this year, all large-scale gene identification studies on smoking were conducted in populations of European ancestry. Consequently, the genetic architecture of smoking is not well described in other populations. Further, despite a rich epidemiologic literature focused on the social determinants of smoking, few studies have examined the moderation of genetic influences (for example, gene-environment interactions) on smoking in African Americans. In the Detroit Neighborhood Health Study (DNHS), a sample of randomly selected majority African American residents of Detroit, we constructed a genetic risk score (GRS), in which we combined top (P-value <5 × 10(-7)) genetic variants from a recent meta-analysis conducted in a large sample of African Americans. Using regression (effective n=399), we first tested for association between the GRS and cigarettes per day, attempting to replicate the findings from the meta-analysis. Second, we examined interactions with three social contexts that may moderate the genetic association with smoking: traumatic events, neighborhood social cohesion and neighborhood physical disorder. Among individuals who had ever smoked cigarettes, the GRS significantly predicted the number of cigarettes smoked per day and accounted for ∼3% of the overall variance in the trait. Significant interactions were observed between the GRS and number of traumatic events experienced, as well as between the GRS and average neighborhood social cohesion; the association between genetic risk and smoking was greater among individuals who had experienced an increased number of traumatic events in their lifetimes, and diminished among individuals who lived in a neighborhood characterized by greater social cohesion. This study provides support for the utility of the GRS as an alternative approach to replication of common polygenic variation, and in gene-environment interaction, for smoking behaviors. In addition, this study indicates that environmental determinants have the potential to both exacerbate (traumatic events) and diminish (neighborhood social cohesion) genetic influences on smoking behaviors.Translational Psychiatry 08/2013; 3(8):e290. DOI:10.1038/tp.2013.63 · 5.62 Impact Factor