Neighborhood social cohesion and posttraumatic stress disorder in a community-based sample: Findings from the Detroit Neighborhood Health Study

Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA.
Social Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.54). 04/2012; 47(12). DOI: 10.1007/s00127-012-0506-9
Source: PubMed


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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Available from: Lauren E Johns, Jan 15, 2016
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    • "Social cohesion has been shown to alter parenting behavior (Roche, Ensminger, & Cherlin, 2007) in such a way that high cohesion leads to diminished parental involvement, potentially because these parents can rely on others, such as neighbors, to be involved. In terms of health, higher levels of social cohesion have been linked to better mental health (Echeverria, Diez-Roux, Shea, Borrell, & Jackson, 2008; Johns et al., 2012), decreased mortality (Inoue, Yorifuji, Takao, Doi, & Kawachi, 2013), higher levels of physical activity and lower levels of smoking (Echeverria et al., 2008; Patterson, Eberly, Ding, & Hargreaves, 2004). Yet, to date, smoking research has largely ignored the effect of social cohesion among adults living with children. "
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