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J Health Soc Behav. 2001 Jun;42(2):151-65.

Neighborhood disadvantage, stress, and drug use among adults.

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  • 1Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, 1800 Main Building, Austin, TX 78712-1127, USA.


This paper explores the relationships among neighborhood disadvantage, stress, and the likelihood of drug use in a sample of adults (N = 1,101). Using the 1995 Detroit Area Study in conjunction with tract-level data from the 1990 census, we find a positive relationship between neighborhood disadvantage and drug use, and this relationship remains statistically significant net of controls for individual-level socioeconomic status. Neighborhood disadvantage is moderately associated with drug related behaviors, indirectly through increased social stressors and higher levels of psychological distress among residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods. A residual effect of neighborhood disadvantage remains, net of a large number of socially relevant controls. Finally, results from interactive models suggest that the relationship between neighborhood disadvantage and drug use is most pronounced among individuals with lower incomes.

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