Abstract: WITHDRAWN Mapping Black Adolescents' Experiences of Stress and Safety in a Single Neighborhood Using Ecological Momentary Assessment (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

WITHDRAWN Mapping Black Adolescents' Experiences of Stress and Safety in a Single Neighborhood Using Ecological Momentary Assessment

Sunday, January 16, 2022
Marquis BR Salon 9, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
* noted as presenting author
Jaime Booth, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Donnell H. Pearl, Community Researcher, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Ny'Ela Chapman, Youth Researcher, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
William Allen, Youth Researcher, University of Pittsburgh, PA
Background and purpose: Black adolescents typically report more psychological distress than other racial groups, which may be due to patterns of residential segregation that concentrate stressors. While studies have supported this connection, most research in this area aggregate features of an adolescent's home census tract, ignoring the possible variations within. Understanding variations in Black adolescents' experiences of space in their neighborhood may be critical for understanding patterns of stress and resilience and designing community-level interventions that promote Black adolescent's wellbeing. To address this gap, the SPIN (Spaces and People in Neighborhoods) project engaged Black youth living in a segregated neighborhood (94% Black) in a study in which they completed brief surveys about locations in their neighborhood. In this paper, we 1) examine the amount of variation in youth perception spaces at the activity space level and 2) observe patterns of stress, safety, risk, and protection across the neighborhood. The implication of these findings will be discussed by the SPIN Project's Youth Research Advisory Board (YRAB).

Method: Starting in July 2019, the SPIN Project's YRAB (11 adolescents’ living in the study neighborhood) recruited 70 Black adolescents (mean age 15.49) to complete brief surveys on cell phone triggered geo fences three times a day for a month. Geo-fences were placed around spaces identified by the YRAB. In total, 984 surveys were completed in the target neighborhood, and the geolocation was recorded at the time of submission. Surveys asked youth about their feelings of stress and safety and perceptions of racism, being valued, violence, social control, and social cohesion in the space. A multi-variate cluster analysis was conducted, identifying 80 distinct and ecologically valid activity spaces. Cross classified multi-level variance component models were estimated to assess the amount of variation observed at the activity space level. A hot spot analysis was conducted to visualize the distribution of high and low responses in space.

Results: Cross classified multi-level models indicated that 7% of the variance in reports of stress, 9% of safety, 12% of perception of racism and being valued, 8% of anticipation of violence, and 13% of both social control and social cohesion occurred at the activity space level. A significant spatial autocorrelation was found for each scale, and the hot spot analysis revealed a consistent pattern of responses. Higher levels of stress, racism, and violence and lower levels of safety, value, social cohesion, and social control were observed around the neighborhood school. The opposite was found around a cluster of youth-serving organizations.

Conclusions and Implications: These findings suggest that critical spatial variations in Black youth's neighborhoods are overlooked when features of a census tract are aggregated. It also clearly indicated places in the neighborhood that could be addressed to decrease youths' experiences of stressors. The YRAB confirmed that the patterns observed are consistent with their lived experience and recommended a teen space be created around the school to give youth a safe space to spend time in an area of the neighborhood that was identified as stressful.