Adolescents’ Perceptions of Neighbourhood Social Characteristics : Is There a Correlation with Mental Health?

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Adolescents’ Perceptions of Neighbourhood Social Characteristics : Is There a Correlation with Mental Health?

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Adolescents’ Perceptions of Neighbourhood Social Characteristics : Is There a Correlation with Mental Health?
Author(s) Ivert, Anna-Karin ; Torstensson Levander, Marie
Date 2014
English abstract
Over recent decades, several studies have investigated the relationship between features of the social environment and adolescents’ mental health. Neighbourhood characteristics, based on official statistics or measured by means of surveys among the adult population, such as neighbourhood socioeconomic deprivation or social capital have been linked to adolescent mental health. However, adolescents’ individual perceptions of their neighbourhoods may be an equally important factor for understanding variations in adolescent mental health. The objective of this study has been to increase the knowledge on how adolescents’ perceptions of the social characteristics of their neighbourhoods are related to their mental health, and on whether perceptions of the neighbourhood have an independent effect over and above that of the socioeconomic structure of the neighbourhoods in which the adolescents live. Furthermore, we have studied whether this relationship differed between girls and boys, or between adolescents with different ethnic backgrounds. The study was carried out in 2011–2012, and includes 483 adolescents born in 1995 and living in the city of Malmö. Our results show that adolescents’ perceptions of the social characteristics of their neighbourhoods appear to be associated with their mental health, but these associations seem to differ between adolescents depending on individual characteristics (i.e. gender or parental country of birth). Interventions aimed at improving the social characteristics of adolescents’ everyday environments may be an important factor in reducing mental health problems. However, it is important to acknowledge that the influence of perceived neighbourhood characteristics interacts with individual characteristics.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12187-013-9210-x (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Springer
Host/Issue Child Indicators Research;1
Volume 7
ISSN 1874-8988
Pages 177-192
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Neighbourhood
Adolescents
mental health
perceptions
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/15852 (link to this page)

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