Depressive symptomatology, exposure to violence, and the role of social capital among African American adolescents

Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2005 Apr;75(2):262-74. doi: 10.1037/0002-9432.75.2.262.


Focusing on the role of capital as both personal and social resources for adolescents, the authors examined depressive symptomatology among a sample of 10- to 18-year-old African American youths (N=1,538). In addition to gender and age differences, adolescents exposed to threatening environments (school, neighborhood, home) reported more depressive symptoms. Social capital had a significant inverse relationship with adolescent depression; self-esteem and a social capital index were negatively related to depressive symptomatology. Furthermore, the interaction effects of gender with social capital, age with self-esteem, and age with grades were significant, indicating the presence of a buffering effect. These findings suggest the importance of interrelationships among violence exposure, capital, and well-being for adolescents.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Alabama / epidemiology
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Social Behavior Disorders / ethnology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*