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Keywords:

  • adolescent mental health;
  • community context;
  • social resources

This study investigated cross-level mediational and moderational community and family influences on adolescent depressive symptoms. Using multilevel data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we predicted that structural community characteristics such as community poverty and ethnic heterogeneity would influence community social resources, which in turn would influence adolescent depressive symptoms. We further predicted that community social resources would influence adolescent depressive symptoms through family social resources. Findings also suggested that the influence of the parent-child relationship on adolescent depressive symptoms is weaker in more adverse communities than in less adverse communities. The findings underscore the importance of placing family process models within the community context when adolescent outcomes are investigated.