Associations Between Neighborhood Context and Mental Health Among Youth of Color: Sleep as a Moderator

Shadane Johnson, Fordham University


Mental health is a crucial aspect of an adolescent of color’s well-being. There are contextual factors and bio-physiological factors that may be related to mental health in adolescence. Informed by various theoretical frameworks, the current study aims to explore the association between neighborhood walkability and neighborhood disadvantage with anxiety and depression in youth of color, while also assessing the moderating influences of sleep in this relationship. The present study is a secondary analysis of data drawn from the Adolescent Sleep Study. Participants were 9th-grade high school students (T1: N = 350) recruited from five high schools in New York. Measures of neighborhood walkability, neighborhood disadvantage, sleep quality, sleep duration, sleep hygiene, depression, and anxiety were assessed. The results suggest that highly walkable neighborhoods were associated with higher levels of depression in adolescents of color with poor sleep quality (compared to adolescents with good sleep quality). This finding highlights the importance of situational factors when assessing neighborhood walkability in relation to mental health outcomes such as depression as the quality of adolescents’ walks in New York City may explain the results. Future studies should consider both objective and subjective measures of the neighborhood context when exploring its association with adolescent mental health and sleep.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Psychology|Mental health

Recommended Citation

Johnson, Shadane, "Associations Between Neighborhood Context and Mental Health Among Youth of Color: Sleep as a Moderator" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30576121.