Neighborhood Disorganization, Social Support, and Psychological Distress Among Salvadoran Adolescents
El Salvador is considered one of the most violent countries in the world. Although there is emerging research on the psychological impact of violence on adult citizens of El Salvador, little is known about the relationship between neighborhood characteristics (e.g., neighborhood disorganization) and adolescent psychological distress. With a sample of 902 Salvadoran adolescents, the researcher of this study examined the relationship between neighborhood disorganization and adolescents’ psychological distress and the potential moderating effect of perceived peer and adult social support (i.e., family and school adult) on this relationship. As predicted, family support buffered the positive relationship between neighborhood disorganization and psychological distress. Specifically, high levels of family support buffered the significant relationship between neighborhood disorganization and psychological distress. No significant interaction effect was found between neighborhood disorganization and school adult support or neighborhood disorganization and peer support on psychological distress. Results indicate the ill effects of neighborhood disorganization and the protective effect of family social support by mitigating psychological distress in Salvadoran adolescents. These findings highlight the importance of intervention efforts designed to increase social support, particularly family support, for adolescents living in disorganized neighborhoods in El Salvador.
PSYD in Clinical Psychology
Psychological distress, Teenagers, Adolescent psychiatry, Social networks
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