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Amanda Lehning Published in Social Work Research

Amanda Lehning, Associate Professor and Colleagues Published in Social Work Research

Title: Exploring Neighborhood Social Environment and Social Support in Baltimore


Intervention efforts include social support as a mechanism to promote well-being in diverse communities. Cultivating support can be complex, particularly in disadvantaged urban communities. This complexity is compounded by a lack of studies that attempt to map associations between urban neighborhood environments and social support exchanges. Authors address this gap by analyzing data from the Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Life Span study (Wave 1, 2004–2009), a 20-year epidemiological investigation of African American and White adults living in Baltimore City. Results of ordinary least squares linear regression models (N = 2,002) indicate that individuals who report that their neighborhoods have more social resources (p = .03), social order (p < .001), social cohesion (p = .002), and social control (p = .001) tend to exchange more social support. Respondents in neighborhoods with more social disorder report providing more support (p = .02), but receive less (p = .004). Neighborhood social environment is more consistently associated with support received from friends or other kin compared with spouses and children. These findings suggest that neighborhood social environments may be a key contextual consideration for social work intervention efforts and indicate need for macro-level interventions to complement existing micro-level interventions.

Mair, C.A., Lehning, A.J., Waldstein, S. R., Evans, M. K., Zonderman, A. B. (2021) Exploring Neighborhood Social Environment and Social Support in Baltimore, Social Work Research,



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