Certain neighborhood factors may increase the risk of exposure to trauma, therefore increasing the risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Other aspects of neighborhoods can be protective, such as neighborhood-based social relationships, which provide social support that buffers the risk of developing PTSD. The strength of these social relationships may not be as dependent on neighborhood conditions as much as they are contingent on socioeconomic similarities between neighborhood residents. Using a nationally representative sample of hospital emergency department admissions in the United States (N = 13,669,251), this study hypothesized that an interaction between family-level income and neighborhood-level income would be associated with adolescent PTSD. The results show that female adolescents who resided in the highest income areas were 1.39 times more likely, 95% CI [1.09, 1.77], to be diagnosed with PTSD than those who lived in the lowest income areas. This association was not statistically significant for male adolescents. Additionally, low-income female youth were nearly one-third more likely than their non–low-income counterparts to be diagnosed, odds ratio (OR) = 1.29, 95% CI [1.12, 1.48], whereas low-income male youth were nearly twice as likely than their non–low-income counterparts to be diagnosed, OR = 1.95, 95% CI [1.62, 2.34]. Furthermore, there was an interaction among both male and female adolescents such that lower-income adolescents living in higher-income areas had higher odds of a PTSD diagnosis compared to their higher-income peers in areas that were in the same median household income quartile.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2019 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health