Blues from the neighborhood? Neighborhood characteristics and depression

Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, 7th Floor, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Epidemiologic Reviews (Impact Factor: 7.33). 09/2008; 30:101-17. DOI: 10.1093/epirev/mxn009
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Unipolar major depression ranks among the leading contributors to the global burden of disease. Although established risk factors for depression include a variety of individual-level characteristics, neighborhood etiologic factors have been relatively understudied, with several such attributes (neighborhood socioeconomic status, physical conditions, services/amenities, social capital, social disorder) possessing plausible linkages to depression. Using the PubMed database (1966-2008) and the Social Sciences Citation Index database (1956-2008), the author undertook a systematic review of the published literature on the associations between these characteristics and depression in adults. Across studies, the evidence generally supports harmful effects of social disorder and, to a lesser extent, suggests protective effects for neighborhood socioeconomic status. Few investigations have explored the relations for neighborhood physical conditions, services/amenities, and social capital, and less consistently point to salutary effects. The unsupportive findings may be attributed to the lack of representative studies within and across societies or to methodological gaps, including lack of control for other neighborhood/non-neighborhood exposures and lack of implementation of more rigorous methodological approaches. Establishing mediating pathways and effect-modifying factors will vitally advance understanding of neighborhood effects on depression. Overall, addressing these gaps will help to identify what specific neighborhood features matter for depression, how, and for whom, and will contribute to curtailing the burden of disease associated with this major disorder.

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    • "An emerging body of literature documents an association between low neighborhood socioeconomic status (NSES) and worse health across a broad array of outcomes beyond individual socioeconomic characteristics (Alegria et al., 2014; Chaix, 2009; Kim, 2008; Mair et al., 2008; Pickett and Pearl, 2001). In the past few years, this literature has begun to document neighborhood associations with allostatic load (AL), an indicator of cumulative biological risk (Bird et al., 2010; King et al., 2011; Merkin et al., 2009; Schulz et al., 2012; Stimpson et al., 2007; Theall et al., 2012; Wallace et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Neighborhood context may influence health and health disparities. However, most studies have been constrained by cross-sectional designs that limit causal inference due to failing to establish temporal order of exposure and disease. We tested the impact of baseline neighborhood context (neighborhood socioeconomic status factor at the block-group level, and relative income of individuals compared to their neighbors) on allostatic load two years later. We leveraged data from the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study, a prospective cohort of aging Puerto Rican adults (aged 45-75 at baseline), with change in AL modeled between baseline and the 2nd wave of follow-up using two-level hierarchical linear regression models. Puerto Rican adults with higher income, relative to their neighbors, exhibited lower AL after two years, after adjusting for NSES, age, gender, individual-level SES, length of residence, and city. After additional control for baseline AL, this association was attenuated to marginal significance. We found no significant association of NSES with AL. Longitudinal designs are an important tool to understand how neighborhood contexts influence health and health disparities. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Health & Place 05/2015; 33. DOI:10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.02.001 · 2.44 Impact Factor
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    • "Similarly, parents living in impoverished neighborhoods , often burdened by their own lack of economic resources, tend to be socially isolated from one another which increases their risk for mental health problems notably depression (Cutrona et al. 2006; Klebanov et al. 1994; Pachter et al. 2006; Ross 2000). Lack of neighborhood resources and social isolation deprives parents of the support of neighbors and community resources that are often useful in parenting efforts and reducing stress (Beeber et al. 2008; Deng et al. 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Neighborhood characteristics have been shown to impact child well-being. However, it remains unclear how these factors combine with family characteristics to influence child development. The current study helps develop that understanding by investigating how neighborhoods directly impact child and adolescent behavior problems as well as moderate the influence of family characteristics on behavior. Using multilevel linear models, we examined the relationship among neighborhood conditions (poverty and social capital) and maternal depression on child and adolescent behavior problems. The sample included 741 children, age 5-11, and 564 adolescents, age 12-17. Outcomes were internalizing (e.g. anxious/depressed) and externalizing (e.g. aggressive/hyperactive) behavior problems. Neighborhood poverty and maternal depression were both positively associated with behavior problems for children and adolescents. However, while neighborhood social capital was not directly associated with behavior problems, the interaction of social capital and maternal depression was significantly related to behavior problems for adolescents. This interaction showed that living in neighborhoods with higher levels of social capital attenuated the relationship between maternal depression and adolescent behavior problems and confirmed the expectation that raising healthy well-adjusted children depends not only on the family, but also the context in which the family lives.
    American Journal of Community Psychology 03/2014; 53(3-4). DOI:10.1007/s10464-014-9640-8 · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    • "Diversos membros da comunidade (como colegas, vizinhos, conhecidos, tios, bisavós) foram referidos pela maioria das mães de ambos os grupos como pessoas de quem recebem ajuda. Esse dado, de certo modo, pode ser considerado à luz do estudo de Kim (2008) que referiu o valor protetivo das características sociais da vizinhança contra a incidência de depressão em adultos. No presente estudo, além da vizinhança, foram incluídos como fonte de apoio membros da família extensa; sob esta perspectiva, pode-se pensar que as mães do estudo estariam contando com tal fator de proteção, na medida em que percebem como fonte de ajuda a vizinhança e pessoas com as quais convivem em outros espaços comunitários. "
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    ABSTRACT: Maternal depression appears as an adversity to family dynamics and socialization of children, associating with other conditions of risk or protection. The objective was to compare and correlate the social support for families of children with and without difficulties socializing, in the context of maternal depression, identifying resources to support perceived by mothers. Were evaluated 40 mothers diagnosed with recurrent depression by questionnaire, interviews and scales, and 40 children of both sexes in school age. The dyads were divided into two groups according to specific assessments: G1 - 25 children with socialization difficulties - and G2 - 15 children without difficulties. Religious services and health were the main resources used by the groups. It was found when comparing the groups G1 families have less support of social relations, highlighting the importance of social support as protective factor in the socialization of children.
    Estudos de Psicologia (Natal) 06/2013; 18(2):249-257. DOI:10.1590/S1413-294X2013000200010
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