Neighborhood disadvantage, stress, and drug use among adults

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


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cultural Deprivation
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Logistic Models
  • Michigan / epidemiology
  • Poverty Areas*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / etiology
  • Urban Population