Longitudinal Associations Between Immigrant Ethnic Density, Neighborhood Processes, and Latino Immigrant Youth Depression
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- Lee, M. & Liechty, J.M. J Immigrant Minority Health (2015) 17: 983. doi:10.1007/s10903-014-0029-4
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Depression rates rise in adolescence and the prevalence of depression is higher among Latino adolescents than other race/ethnic groups. Ethnic density among immigrant populations is associated with better health and mental health outcomes among adults, but little is known about its effects among adolescents or its mechanisms. This study examines the pathways by which immigrant density may affect mental health outcomes among Latino youth. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), we drew a sample of 2,678 Hispanic youth. Multivariate multilevel logistic regression analyses found that Latino immigrant density predicted lower odds of depression among both male and female immigrant but not non-immigrant Latino adolescents. No mediating effects of neighborhood efficacy, perceived safety or perceived contentment were observed in this study. Results reaffirm the need to further explore the mechanisms through which ethnic density exerts its salubrious effect on immigrant youth mental health.