Date of Award
Campus Access Dissertation
Health Promotion, Education and Behavior
Katrina M Walsemann
My study investigates how exposure to predominantly minority neighborhoods or schools, as measured by percent black and Hispanic, and exposure to school disorder and violence during early and late adolescence, influences body mass index (BMI) and depressive symptoms, respectively, among students in their junior year of college. We analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Freshman, resulting in a sample size of 2,944 students attending 28 selective universities from 1999-2003. Results from our analysis suggest that cumulative exposure (early and late adolescence) to predominantly-minority neighborhoods and schools is associated with higher BMI among college students, compared to students who were exposed at only one time point, or not exposed at all. Cumulative exposure to school disorder and violence was not associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms, compared to students who were exposed at only one time point, or not exposed at all. Though, findings indicate that there are sensitive periods (i.e. early or late adolescence) in which exposure to predominantly-minority neighborhoods or schools are associated with higher BMI and exposure to school disorder and violence is associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms. However, these effects differ by gender. Our findings suggest that neighborhood and school contexts in early and late adolescence may contribute to racial/ethnic disparities in overweight/obesity and depressive symptoms.
Harring, H. A.(2011). The Effect of Neighborhood and School Contexts During Early and Late Adolescence On Racial Disparities In Body Mass Index and Depressive Symptoms Among Students Attending Selective Universities. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/1368