Who Does Cohesion Benefit? Race, Gender, and Peer Networks Associated with Adolescent Depressive Symptoms

Molly Copeland, Christina Kamis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Adolescence is a developmental period when peer network structure is associated with mental health. However, how networks relate to distress for youth at different intersecting racial/ethnic and gender identities is unclear. Using National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health survey data, cross-sectional models examine peer network cohesion predicting adolescent depressive levels for racial/ethnic and gender groups. The analytic sample is N = 13,055, average age 15.3 years, 50.2% female, 68.8 % White, 17.2% Black, 9.7% Hispanic, and 4.2% Asian. The results indicate that average cohesion, depressive levels, and cohesion associated with depressive levels differ by race/ethnicity and gender, with the greatest benefits for White and Black girls. This work clarifies patterns of adolescent networks and mental health by race/ethnicity and gender.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1787-1797
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Volume51
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Intersectionality
  • Mental Health
  • Peers
  • Social Networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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