Neighborhood Protective Effects on Depression in Latinos

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0411, USA.
American Journal of Community Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.74). 10/2010; 47(1-2):114-26. DOI: 10.1007/s10464-010-9370-5
Source: PubMed


Neighborhood social ecologies may have protective effects on depression in Latinos, after adjusting for demographic risk factors, such as nativity and length of stay in the US. This study examines the effects of neighborhood collective efficacy and linguistic isolation on depression in a heterogeneous urban Latino population from 1,468 adult respondents in Los Angeles County. We used multilevel models to analyze how major depression is associated with socioeconomic background, length of stay in the U.S., neighborhood collective efficacy and linguistic isolation among Latinos. A significant cross-level interaction effect was found between collective efficacy and foreign-born Latinos who resided in the US ≥ 15 years. We report cross-level interaction effects between linguistic isolation and nativity for U.S.-born and nativity and duration of residence for foreign-born Latinos who had lived in the U.S. at least 15 years. The moderating effects reported in this study suggest that the benefits of neighborhood collective efficacy and linguistic isolation vary by Latino subgroup and are conceptually discrete forms of social capital and offer insights for community based interventions.

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    • "Other researchers found that a high concentration of immigrants in one area may shield individuals from the detrimental effects of poverty [38]. The prevailing thought is that ethnic/immigrant enclaves are protective of Latino health as enclaves provide opportunities to foster social relationships [39] [40]. A recent study found that Latinos living in neighborhoods with high concentrations of Latinos and immigrants were more socially integrated and had large, diverse networks [41]. "
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    • "Indeed, Sampson (2013) suggests that residents in neighborhoods of high collective efficacy (i.e., where there are shared expectations about norms and behavior) are better able to achieve common goals and are more likely to engage in (and benefit from) socially altruistic behaviors. 1 Such benefits are unsurprisingly associated with better mental health— collective efficacy, for instance, has been found to reduce depression among long-term Latino immigrants in the United States (Vega et al. 2011) as well as among older adults (Ahern and Galea 2011), and is associated with other socially altruistic behaviors such as bystander intervention (Edwards et al. 2014). It is necessary to account for neighborhood disadvantage when examining the impact of neighborhood protective factors, however, because disadvantage can impede the quality and quantity of the helping mechanisms which are available (Goodman et al. 2009; Sampson 2003). "
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    • "Racial segregation appears to be beneficial for the health of Asians and Hispanics in multiple dimensions including mental health (Vega et al., 2011), physical health (Osypuk et al., 2009), access to health care (Gresenz, Rogowski, & Escarce, 2009; Osypuk et al., 2009) and birth outcomes (Walton, 2009). That is, Asians and Hispanics living in a racially segregated area are more likely to have fewer depressive symptoms (Vega et al., 2011), and to have better self-reported health and fewer chronic conditions (Osypuk et al., 2009). This protective association between racial segregation and health of Asians and Hispanics is often attributed to ethnic enclaves , which may provide increased social support and social engagement among families and friends, enhance integration into the community, provide better access to educational and occupational resources, and minimize the exposure to discrimination (Berkman & Glass, 2000; Leclere, Jensen, & Biddlecom, 1994; Walton, 2009). "
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