People and places: Relocating to neighborhoods with better economic and social conditions is associated with less risky drug/alcohol network characteristics among African American adults in Atlanta, GA

Sabriya L. Linton, Hannah L.F. Cooper, Ruiyan Luo, Conny Karnes, Kristen Renneker, Danielle F. Haley, Josalin Hunter-Jones, Zev Ross, Loida Bonney, Richard Rothenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Few studies assess whether place characteristics are associated with social network characteristics that create vulnerability to substance use. Methods: This longitudinal study analyzed 7 waves of data (2009-2014) from a predominantly substance-using cohort of 172 African American adults relocated from public housing complexes in Atlanta, GA, to determine whether post-relocation changes in exposure to neighborhood conditions were associated with four network characteristics related to substance use: number of social network members who used illicit drugs or alcohol in excess in the past six months ("drug/alcohol network"), drug/alcohol network stability, and turnover into and out of drug/alcohol networks. Individual- and network-level characteristics were captured via survey and administrative data were used to describe census tracts where participants lived. Multilevel models were used to assess relationships of census tract-level characteristics to network outcomes over time. Results: On average, participants relocated to census tracts that had less economic disadvantage, social disorder, and renter-occupied housing. Post-relocation reductions in exposure to economic disadvantage were associated with fewer drug/alcohol network members and less turnover into drug/alcohol networks. Post-relocation improvements in exposure to multiple census tract-level social conditions and reductions in perceived community violence were associated with fewer drug/alcohol network members, less turnover into drug/alcohol networks, less drug/alcohol network stability, and more turnover out of drug/alcohol networks. Conclusion: Relocating to neighborhoods with less economic disadvantage and better social conditions may weaken relationships with substance-using individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-41
Number of pages12
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Volume160
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Longitudinal analysis
  • Neighborhood characteristics
  • Social epidemiology
  • Social networks
  • Substance use
  • US

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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