The Association Between Neighborhood Disorder and Self-concept: Exploring the Moderating Role of Religion




Guven, Metin

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Recently, a broad array of literature has shown a significant negative association between an important facet of residential life – neighborhood disorder – and two important self-concept dimensions: self-esteem, and mastery. Much research has investigated various potential psychosocial and health-related moderator factors of this association. However, less is known about the extent to which multiple dimensions of religion moderate deleterious effects of neighborhood disorder on self-esteem and mastery. Thus, we consider the role of religious factors (behaviors, resources, and beliefs) in conditioning the detrimental effects of neighborhood disorder on self-esteem and mastery. Using data from the Nashville Stress and Health Study (2014), a random probability sample of black and white adults residing in Davidson County, Nashville, Tennessee, we estimate a series of ordered logistic regression models to predict respondents' self-esteem and mastery. Our findings suggest that (1) neighborhood disorder is inversely associated with self-esteem and mastery, (2) the sense of divine control and religious coping buffer the deleterious effects of neighborhood disorder on self-esteem, (3) religious coping, religious attendance, and religious support moderate the detrimental effects of neighborhood disorder on mastery, controlling for sociodemographic variables, social stressors, and psychosocial resources. Substantively, these findings suggest that the role of religious aspects on self-esteem and mastery cut across neighborhood disorder. Study implications, limitations, and directions for future research are discussed.


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Mastery, Neighborhood Disorder, Religion, Religious Involvement, Self-concept, Self-esteem