Neighborhood context and mental health over the early life course


Barr, Peter (2014). Neighborhood context and mental health over the early life course. 2014 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


A rapidly growing body of literature within the sociology of mental health has demonstrated the importance of neighborhood context in shaping mental health above and beyond individual level factors. Drawing on insights from social disorganization theory, we see how neighborhood disadvantage and disorder play an important role in shaping mental health outcomes. However, the majority of work has been limited in time span and found only modest effects. Drawing on a life course perspective within the stress process framework, I will explore how neighborhood context influences trajectories of mental health across the early adult life course. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, I will examine changes in both depression and substance abuse across a fourteen year period as adolescents transition into early adulthood. Comparing these trajectories across outcome seeing how they interact with individual level factors will provide a deeper understanding of how these aspects of mental health change over time. Exploring the role of stress exposure will also demonstrate whether stressful experiences mediate the relationship between neighborhood context and mental health, or if they act as moderators.


Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2014 Add Health Users Conference


Barr, Peter

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID