This study investigated the role of neighborhood, family, and individual subjective socioeconomic status (SES) in predicting adolescent physical health and psychological characteristics. Three hundred fifteen adolescents completed assessments of blood pressure, cortisol, and body mass index (BMI). Results revealed that lower neighborhood SES was associated with higher BMI and lower basal cortisol levels and that these effects persisted after controlling for family SES. Both family SES and neighborhood SES predicted negative psychological characteristics and experiences such as hostility and discrimination. In contrast, only subjective SES predicted positive psychological characteristics. These findings suggest the importance of understanding influences at the individual, family, and neighborhood levels for optimally targeting interventions to reduce health disparities earlier in life.
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