Cohesive Neighborhoods Where Social Expectations Are Shared May Have Positive Impact On Adolescent Mental Health
Louis Donnelly, Sara McLanahan, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Irwin Garfinkel, Brandon G. Wagner, Wade C. Jacobsen, Sarah Gold and Lauren Gaydosh
Abstract: Adolescent mental health problems are associated with poor health and well-being in adulthood. We used data from a cohort of 2,264 children born in large US cities in 1998–2000 to examine whether neighborhood collective efficacy (a combination of social cohesion and control) is associated with improvements in adolescent mental health. We found that children who grew up in neighborhoods with high collective efficacy experienced fewer depressive and anxiety symptoms during adolescence than similar children from neighborhoods with low collective efficacy. The magnitude of this neighborhood effect is comparable to the protective effects of depression prevention programs aimed at general or at-risk adolescent populations. Our findings did not vary by family or neighborhood income, which indicates that neighborhood collective efficacy supports adolescent mental health across diverse populations and urban settings. We recommend a greater emphasis on neighborhood environments in individual mental health risk assessments and greater investment in community-based initiatives that strengthen neighborhood social cohesion and control.
Father Involvement and Childhood Injuries
Lenna Nepomnyaschy, Louis Donnelly
Abstract: Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for children in the United States. Parental supervision is a key factor in preventing injuries, but little is known about the role of fathers. Today, one quarter of children live with a single mother, and another third live with a mother and her new partner, resulting in tremendous diversity in the amount and type of paternal involvement in children's lives. The authors examined the effects of involvement by resident biological, nonresident biological, and resident social fathers on the risk of injury among children from birth to age 5 using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 4,352). They found that living with a social father and social fathers' more frequent engagement with children increase risk of injury, but only for the youngest children. Higher levels of fathers' cooperative parenting reduce children's risk of injury regardless of fathers' biological or residential status.
Child Support in Immigrant Families
Lenna Nepomnyaschy, Louis Donnelly
Population Research and Policy Review,
December 2014, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 817-840
Abstract: In this study, we use nationally representative data from the U.S. Current Population Survey-Child Support Supplement (N = 28,047) to examine differences in nonresident fathers’ material contributions between children of native and foreign-born mothers. We focus on contributions provided through the formal child support system (whether the mother has a child support agreement and the amount received), as well as support provided informally (the amount of informal cash and whether she receives any in-kind support). We control for a variety of individual and household characteristics, including whether the nonresident father lives in a different state or in a different country. We find that foreign-born mothers are much less likely to have a child support agreement than native-born mothers, but have similar amounts of formal support, once an agreement is in place. Compared to native-born mothers, foreign-born mothers are also much less likely to receive in-kind support, but this difference is completely explained by fathers’ distance from the child. Foreign-born mothers do not differ at all on the amount of informal cash support received from fathers. Nonresident fathers’ residence outside the U.S. is an important mechanism through which nativity affects the likelihood of having a child support order and receiving any in-kind support, but not the amount of formal support (given an order) or the amount of informal cash support. Aggregate comparisons mask important differences within the foreign-born group by mothers’ and children’s citizenship status, years in the U.S., and region of origin
Assessing the Implicit Curriculum in Social Work Education: Heterogeneity of Students’ Experiences and Impact on Professional Empowerment
N. Andrew Petersona, Antoinette Y. Farmera, Louis Donnelly, Brad Forenzaa
Abstract: The implicit curriculum, which refers to a student’s learning environment, has been described as an essential feature of an integrated professional social work curriculum. Very little is known, however, about the heterogeneity of students’ experiences with the implicit curriculum, how this heterogeneity may be distributed across groups of students, and how it may impact students’ professional empowerment. This study used latent profile analysis to identify groups of students based on their experiences with the implicit curriculum in school and field contexts, and it examined differences between profile groups on measures of professional empowerment. Study participants (n = 534) were undergraduate and graduate students of a large school of social work in the northeast. Results revealed that four groups of students could be identified based on their experiences with the implicit curriculum: students who experienced (a) positive school and field environments, (b) positive school but negative field environments, (c) negative school but positive field environments, and (d) negative school and field environments. Profile groups differed significantly on measures of professional empowerment. Implications and directions for future work are discussed.