Social disadvantage and adolescent stress.

Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-9110, USA.
Journal of Adolescent Health (Impact Factor: 2.75). 01/2006; 37(6):484-92. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2004.11.126
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Low socioeconomic status (SES) and minority race/ethnicity are both associated with chronic stress and co-vary in American society. As such, these factors are often used synonymously, without clear theoretical conceptualization of their roles in the development of stress-related health disparities. This study theorized that race/ethnicity and SES reflect social disadvantage, which is the underlying factor in the development of stress-related illness, and examined how social disadvantage, defined in terms of both race/ethnicity and SES, influences adolescents' stress.
This is a cross-sectional school-based study of 1209 non-Hispanic black and white 7th-12th graders from a single Midwestern metropolitan public school district. Each student completed a questionnaire and a parent provided SES information. Race/ethnicity was obtained from school records. Linear regression analyses determined the influence of race/ethnicity and SES to stress. Race/ethnicity and presence or absence of at least one parent who graduated from college were used to define four subgroups for within-group analyses.
Stress was higher among black students, those from lower SES families, and those with lower perceived SES. In subgroup analyses, neither race nor SES maintained their independent associations with stress among socially disadvantaged groups. Black race was not associated with stress among those without a college-educated parent, and parent education did not influence stress among black students. In contrast, among more socially advantaged groups, both SES and race explained variation in adolescents' stress.
Social disadvantage is associated with increased stress, regardless of whether disadvantage is defined in terms of race or SES. This suggests that race and SES measure adversity in the social environment, and therefore, serve as risk markers, rather than risk factors. Future research should focus on the experience of adversity, which is reflected by these social characteristics, and the processes by which it operates.

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  • Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 01/2015; DOI:10.1177/0022427814565905 · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    01/2007; National Institute of Child Health, Budapest., ISBN: 973 963 06 4192 0
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    ABSTRACT: Background Over the past decades, ample empirical evidence has been collected about the factors linked to internalizing problems during adolescence. However, there is a lack of research that use holistic approaches to study the joint analysis of a series of contextual and personal variables considered to be related to internalizing problems. Objective This cross sectional study analyzes the relationship between internalizing problems during adolescence and a constellation of contextual (parenting and peer relationships) and personal variables, some of which are linked to the control and regulation of emotions. Method The sample consisted of 2,400 adolescents (1,068 boys and 1,332 girls) between 12 and 17 years of ages, who were selected in twenty secondary schools located in western Andalusia (Spain). They completed questionnaires in their classrooms. Results The results showed significant differences depending on the gender of the participant with girls scoring higher than boys in internalizing problems. This gender difference in the prevalence of problems increased with age. Also, significant relationships were discovered among most of the personal and contextual variables analyzed and internalizing problems, both in boys and girls. Our data showed an interesting moderating effect, because empathy was positively associated with internalizing problems, but only for girls with low scores on emotional clarity. Conclusions The results of this study provide an interesting contribution to the knowledge of contextual and personal factors regarding internalizing problems during adolescence. Among contextual protective factors, the importance of parental affection and attachment to the peer group must be emphasized, while parental psychological control had negative effects. The results also underscore the importance of certain personal variables, such as risk or protection factors, as well as the moderation relationships established between some of them, including the moderating effect of emotional clarity on the relationship between empathy and internalizing problems, although only in the case of girls.
    Child and Youth Care Forum 08/2014; 43(4):505-520. DOI:10.1007/s10566-014-9250-5 · 1.25 Impact Factor


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Jun 5, 2014