We used data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study which includes a sample of adolescents of age 15 at the most recent wave (between 2014 and 2017) from mainly low-income urban families in the United States, to examine the association between neighborhood poverty entries and exits and adolescent depression and anxiety. In addition, we examined whether these associations differed by gender. Adolescents who consistently lived in disadvantaged neighborhoods had the highest level of depression and anxiety. Those who entered poor neighborhoods were more depressed than those who never lived in poor neighborhoods. Those who exited poor neighborhoods showed no significant difference in depression and anxiety compared to those never lived in poor neighborhoods. Furthermore, these associations applied to adolescent girls only and were not statistically significant for boys. The results suggest that neighborhood poverty has cumulative negative impacts on adolescent mental health and disproportionally affects adolescent girls. Reducing neighborhood poverty would substantially improve the health of adolescents, especially girls, which would reduce health disparities.
- Health disparities
- Mental health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Life-span and Life-course Studies