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The protective effect of neighbourhood social cohesion on adolescent mental health following stressful life events

Kingsbury, M; Clayborne, Z; Colman, I; Kirkbride, JB; (2019) The protective effect of neighbourhood social cohesion on adolescent mental health following stressful life events. Psychological Medicine 10.1017/S0033291719001235. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Background Exposure to stressful life events is an established risk factor for the development of adolescent mental disorder. Growing evidence also suggests that neighbourhood social environments, including strong social cohesion, could have a protective effect on mental health. However, little is known about how neighbourhood social cohesion may buffer against the effects of stressful life events on adolescent mental health. Our aim was to assess whether neighbourhood social cohesion modifies the association between stressful life events and adolescent mental health outcomes. Methods Data were drawn from a nationally-representative prospective sample of Canadian adolescents, including 5183 adolescents aged 12/13 years at T1 and 14/15 years at T2. Caregivers reported neighbourhood social cohesion at T1, and exposure to stressful life events between T1 and T2. Symptoms of mental health and behaviour problems were self-reported by adolescents at T1 and T2. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine whether the relationship between stressful life events and outcomes was modified by neighbourhood social cohesion. Results Associations between stressful life events and adolescent outcomes were statistically significantly lower in neighbourhoods with greater social cohesion for: depression/anxiety (high cohesion OR = 0.98 v. low cohesion OR = 3.11), suicidal ideation (ORhigh = 1.30 v. ORlow = 5.25), aggression/conduct disorder (ORhigh = 1.09 v. ORlow = 4.27), and property offence (ORhigh = 1.21 v. ORlow = 4.21). Conclusions Greater neighbourhood social cohesion appeared to buffer the effects of stressful life events on several domains of adolescent mental health. This potentially presents a target for public health intervention to improve adolescent mental health and behavioural outcomes

Type: Article
Title: The protective effect of neighbourhood social cohesion on adolescent mental health following stressful life events
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0033291719001235
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291719001235
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2019 This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Adolescence, mental health, neighbourhoods, social cohesion, stressful life events
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10077326
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