|dc.description.abstract||Background - Residents of more deprived and socially fragmented neighbourhoods are more
likely to suffer from poor physical health and severe psychiatric morbidity than individuals
living in more affluent and socially cohesive neighbourhoods. However, this pattern is less
clear for more common psychological outcomes such as depression, anxiety and psychological
traits such as self-esteem in early adolescence. In particular, the relationship between
adolescent mental health and psychological traits may vary by national context. Two
hypotheses broadly frame these variations: the deprivation amplification hypothesis and the
socio-economic equalisation in youth hypothesis. Specifically, deprivation amplification is
supported for adolescents in the U.S, while equalisation hypothesis appears to be supported
outside that national context.
Aims - The study aims to extend existing international research by addressing three research
questions using data on adolescents aged 10-15 in the UK and Canada.
1. Is there support for socio-economic equalisation in early adolescent self-esteem in the
UK and Canada across household socio-economic status and neighbourhood
2. Is support for equalisation consistent across the socio-geographic levels of family,
neighbourhood, region and nation?
3. Is there evidence for prospective associations between adolescent self-esteem and
socio-geographic processes of neighbourhood context, composition, health selective
migration and socio-geographic mobility in the UK and Canada?
Methods - Two longitudinal datasets, the British Youth Panel (UK) and the National
Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (Canada) were analysed using multilevel logistic
regression and cluster-adjusted multinomial logistic regression models.
Results – Contrary to prevailing deprivation amplification hypothesis, self-esteem was not
inversely associated with neighbourhood deprivation and social fragmentation
neighbourhoods in both countries either prior to, or after controlling for individual and family
characteristics. In fact, living in the least deprived 20% of Canadian neighbourhoods was
associated with lower self-esteem in boys. Other than this, neighbourhood composition
accounted for all significant associations with self-esteem. However, low teenage self-esteem
was associated with subsequent household socio-geographic mobility, an effect explained by
family factors. In addition, moving to more socially fragmented neighbourhoods is associated
with low self-esteem but moving to more materially deprived neighbourhoods is not,
independently of individual and family variables.
Discussion and conclusions – Results are discussed with reference to the implications for
deprivation amplification and socio-economic equalisation in youth hypotheses. Contributions
to health geography and limitations of the study are then addressed before policy implications