Depressive Symptomatology, Exposure to Violence, and the Role of Social Capital Among African American Adolescents

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Focusing on the role of capital as both personal and social resources for adolescents, the authors examined depressive symptomatology among a sample of 10- to 18-year-old African American youths (N = 1,538). In addition to gender and age differences, adolescents exposed to threatening environments (school, neighborhood, home) reported more depressive symptoms. Social capital had a significant inverse relationship with adolescent depression; self-esteem and a social capital index were negatively related to depressive symptomatology. Furthermore, the interaction effects of gender with social capital, age with self-esteem, and age with grades were significant, indicating the presence of a buffering effect. These findings suggest the importance of interrelationships among violence exposure, capital, and well-being for adolescents.

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