Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Sociology

Supervisor

Kim Shuey

Abstract

The subject of mental health has increasingly become a topic of discussion as individuals advocate for recognition of this health issue. Early childhood adversity is often associated with mental health problems amongst adolescents, however, many do not succumb to these experiences and instead have resilient health outcomes. This study utilized data from the Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN) to analyze the relationship between early adversity and adolescent mental health, how social context may mediate this association, and finally, what factors are associated with mental health resilience. It was found that many at risk children had positive health outcomes at age 14, and contextual factors such as history of witnessed violence, social support, and neighborhood safety mediated this association. Furthermore, neighborhood safety was found to be positively associated with mental health resilience. Such findings suggest that current policies need to address contextual factors when seeking to prevent mental health problems amongst adolescents.


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