Gender Differences in Neighborhood Effects on Individual-Level Stressors and Psychosocial Resources: Midlife and Older Adults in the U.S.

Eliva A. Ambugo, Rutgers University
Carol S. Aneshensel, University of California, Los Angeles

Perceived neighborhood disorder and other stressors increase risk for depression, whereas psychosocial resources like social support lessen risk. Also neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage can increase exposure to stressors and undermine resources. However, gender differences in these influences has received little attention, even though there are strong gender difference in depression. Data are from the 2000 U.S. census and the Health and Retirement Study (2006/2008) of a national probability sample of adults over age 50. This multilevel analysis is guided by the neighborhood stress process model. There is only limited evidence of a differential influence of neighborhood conditions and stressors by gender, including perceived neighborhood disorder. However, the negative influence of neighborhood disadvantage and the positive influence of neighborhood affluence are both greater among women than men for some resources, including perceived neighborhood social cohesion. Upstream interventions that revitalize impoverished communities may be especially beneficial to women’s sense of social integration.

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Presented in Poster Session 7