According to the life stress model, stressful circumstances occur in the context of social, psychological, and environmental features that can function as either resources or aggravating factors, each of which are associated with well-being. This research was designed to test indirect effects of living in disadvantaged neighborhoods on mental health, through reduced social support and increased negative emotionality. This model was tested with data from a national sample of 1050 adults residing in the United States. Participants completed measures of social support, negative emotionality, depression, loneliness, stress, and alcohol consumption. These scores were merged with data from the 2015 American Community Survey to assess indicators of neighborhood disadvantage at the zip code level. The test of a parallel mediation model with structural equation modeling indicated that neighborhood disadvantage did not have direct effects on either psychological distress or alcohol consumption. However, neighborhood disadvantage was associated with greater negative emotionality, and through negative emotionality, exhibited indirect effects on psychological distress and alcohol consumption. These results are consistent with elements of the life stress model that specify various psychosocial traits as maladaptive in the context of stressful environments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)