Neighbourhood perceptions and sense of coherence in adolescence

Irene García-Moya, Carmen Moreno, Orna Braun-Lewensohn

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The neighbourhood has traditionally been neglected in studies about adolescents' sense of coherence (SOC). The current study represents the first attempt to analyse the associations between neighbourhood assets, neighbourhood risks, and SOC during adolescence. The sample consisted of 7,580 Spanish adolescents aged 13-18 who were selected for the 2009/10 edition of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey in Spain. The adolescents completed self-report questionnaires that included the SOC-29 scale and separate HBSC scales measuring neighbourhood risks and assets. The results showed that neighbourhood risks were negatively associated with the adolescents' SOC. In contrast, neighbourhood assets, especially relationships with significant adults, were positively associated with the adolescents' SOC. Assets explained 6.5 % of the variability in SOC scores after controlling for risks, suggesting that assets may play a significant role, even in neighbourhoods where risks are present. We discuss implications and future research directions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)371-379
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Primary Prevention
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2013


  • Adolescence
  • Assets
  • Neighbourhood
  • Risks
  • Sense of coherence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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