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J Abnorm Psychol. 2005 Feb;114(1):3-15.

Neighborhood context, personality, and stressful life events as predictors of depression among African American women.

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Department of Psychology, Iowa State University, IA 50010, USA.


The authors tested neighborhood context, negative life events, and negative affectivity as predictors of the onset of major depression among 720 African American women. Neighborhood-level economic disadvantage (e.g., percentage of residents below the poverty line) and social disorder (e.g., delinquency, drug use) predicted the onset of major depression when controlling for individual-level demographic characteristics. Neighborhood-level disadvantage/disorder interacted with negative life events, such that women who experienced recent negative life events and lived in high disadvantage/disorder neighborhoods were more likely to become depressed than were those who lived in more benign settings, both concurrently and over a 2-year period. Neighborhood disadvantage/disorder can be viewed as a vulnerability factor that increases susceptibility to depression following the experience of negative life events.

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