Date of Award

5-2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Sociology

Advisor

Granberg, Ellen

Committee Member

Thompson , Martie

Committee Member

Mobley , Catherine

Abstract

Does a neighborhood affect individuals' depression levels? Despite a large amount of research suggesting the importance of neighborhood for mental health, there is a lack of longitudinal studies specifying the temporal association between them. The current study makes use of three waves of the American's Changing Lives (House, 1986a) dataset to examine the effect of neighborhood quality on depression across time and to investigate if social support buffers this effect. Particularly, the current study uses the interviewers' ratings of neighborhoods, along with the respondents' ratings to assess neighborhood effects more objectively. Besides examining people who did not move across all three waves, the current study also looks at respondents who had changed their residences during this time period and explores the interaction between moving and changes in the respondents' ratings of their neighborhoods. Results indicate that being more dissatisfied with the new neighborhood is associated with an increase in depression for people who changed their residences and that the effect of the interviewers' ratings of neighborhoods on depression can be attenuated by individual differences.

Included in

Sociology Commons

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