This study explored how neighborhood characteristics may relate to African American adolescents' internalizing symptoms via adolescents' social support and perceptions of neighborhood cohesion. Participants included 571 urban, African American adolescents (52% female; M age = 17.8). A multilevel path analysis testing both direct and indirect effects of neighborhood characteristics on adolescents' mental health outcomes was conducted. Higher neighborhood poverty and unemployment rates predicted greater internalizing symptoms via lower cumulative social support and perceptions of neighborhood cohesion. In contrast, higher concentrations of African American and residentially stable residents in one's neighborhood related to fewer internalizing symptoms among adolescent residents via greater cumulative social support and perceptions of neighborhood cohesion. Implications of these findings are discussed.
© 2012 The Authors. Child Development © 2012 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.