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Perceived Neighborhood Fear and Drug Use Among Young Adults

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Objectives : To examine the association between perceptions of neighborhood safety and drug use, as well as mediation by depression and self-esteem.

Methods : The sample included 210 inner-city young adults (18 to 25 years) recruited from the Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Results : Respondents who indicated greater fear of their neighborhood environment also had significantly greater levels of drug use than did those with lower perceived fear. However, this relationship was not a result of lower self-esteem or higher levels of depressive symptoms.

Conclusions : Exploratory results point to the need to consider the broader role of the community environment and its impact on drug use among young adults.

Keywords: drug use; fear; neighborhood; young adult

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1 Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University, School of Public Health, New Orleans, LA.

Publication date: July 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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