Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 231–242 | Cite as

Influences and Mediators of the Effect of Poverty on Young Adolescent Depressive Symptoms

  • Mary Keegan Eamon


Data from a sample of young adolescents between the ages of 10 and 12 years (N = 898) from the mother–child data set of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth were analyzed in a study of influences that explain the relation between poverty and depressive symptoms measured 2 years later. Other variables that predicted youth depressive symptoms were also identified. Results indicated that neighborhood problems, nonparticipation in outside school and neighborhood activities, residing with mothers who exhibited depressive symptoms, and mother's use of physical punishment were partial mediators of the effect of poverty on depressive symptoms 2 years later. Youth health status, lower levels of school satisfaction, marital-partner conflict, and father's emotional support also predicted depressive symptoms. The findings indicate that youth depressive symptoms are multiply determined and that poverty can adversely affect young adolescents in many ways.

poverty depression parenting community problems adolescent health 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Keegan Eamon
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbana

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