Perceived neighborhood safety and psychological distress: Exploring protective factors

Jaime Booth, Stephanie L. Ayers, Flavio Marsiglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

While a growing body of literature has established a relationship between "disordered" neighborhoods and psychological distress, less is known about the specific mechanisms at work. Using data collected in the 2008 Arizona Health Survey (N = 4,196), hierarchal linear regression was conducted to assess both the independent effect of perception of neighborhood safety on psychological distress, as well as the mediating effects of powerlessness, social isolation and mistrust. The findings suggest that the more safe individuals feel in their neighborhood, the less psychological distress they experience (b = 1.07, SE =.17, p <.001). This relationship appears to be partially mediated by feelings of powerlessness, social isolation and mistrust, indicating potential risk and protective factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-156
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Sociology and Social Welfare
Volume39
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 27 2012

Keywords

  • Arizona adults
  • Ecological systems theory
  • Neighborhood safety
  • Psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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