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Journal Article

Citation

Nurius P, LaValley K, Kim MH. School Ment. Health 2020; 12(1): 124-135.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2020, Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group)

DOI

10.1007/s12310-019-09335-z

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

Growing evidence suggests that exposure to early life adversity poses risk to youth development, with impaired mental health a central concern. This population-representative study of adolescent students (n=11,222) investigates the effects of two key forms of early adversity- victimization and poverty-on adolescent mental health in a step-wise fashion, also accounting for mutable and accessible resilience resources. Victimization and poverty prevalence reflected social patterning wherein being female, racial and ethnic minority youth, and those with lower resilience resources all reported significantly higher levels of victimization and family poverty. Greater levels of these adversities were significantly associated with lower levels of resilience resources. Poverty and particularly victimization demonstrated significant cumulative and distinct contributions across three indicators of compromised mental health-depression, suicidality, and broader psychological well-being. Resilience resources of family bondedness, school engagement, and sleep sufficiency all carried significant effects and accompanied lesser explanatory strength of victimization and family poverty. In separate analyses, each of four forms of victimization-adult maltreatment, bullying, dating violence, and feeling unsafe at school-were significant contributors to mental health, with cumulative exposure conveying the strongest unique effects. Implications and opportunities for prevention and remedial strategies are discussed, with particular attention to school-based responding.


Language: en

Keywords

adolescents; mental health; stress; poverty; victimization

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