American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 47, Issue 1–2, pp 114–126 | Cite as

Neighborhood Protective Effects on Depression in Latinos

  • William A. VegaEmail author
  • Alfonso Ang
  • Michael A. Rodriguez
  • Brian K. Finch
Original Paper


Neighborhood social ecologies may have protective effects on depression in Latinos, after adjusting for demographic risk factors, such as nativity and length of stay in the US. This study examines the effects of neighborhood collective efficacy and linguistic isolation on depression in a heterogeneous urban Latino population from 1,468 adult respondents in Los Angeles County. We used multilevel models to analyze how major depression is associated with socioeconomic background, length of stay in the U.S., neighborhood collective efficacy and linguistic isolation among Latinos. A significant cross-level interaction effect was found between collective efficacy and foreign-born Latinos who resided in the US ≥ 15 years. We report cross-level interaction effects between linguistic isolation and nativity for U.S.-born and nativity and duration of residence for foreign-born Latinos who had lived in the U.S. at least 15 years. The moderating effects reported in this study suggest that the benefits of neighborhood collective efficacy and linguistic isolation vary by Latino subgroup and are conceptually discrete forms of social capital and offer insights for community based interventions.


Collective efficacy Linguistic isolation Depression Latinos 


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Copyright information

© Society for Community Research and Action 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • William A. Vega
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alfonso Ang
    • 2
  • Michael A. Rodriguez
    • 2
  • Brian K. Finch
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Social Work and MedicineUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.San Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA

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