Open AccessOpen Access


Neighborhood Disadvantage and Self-Esteem—Do Socioeconomic and Relational Resources Matter?

Joongbaeck Kim1, Manacy Pai2,*

1 Department of Sociology, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea
2 Kent State University, 700 Hilltop Drive, Kent, OH, 44224, USA

* Corresponding Author: Manacy Pai. Email:

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2022, 24(3), 311-329.


Extensive research suggests that living in a socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhood is associated with poor mental health. Few studies, however, have examined (1) whether neighborhood disadvantage is associated with residents’ self-esteem; and (2) the extent to which individual-level socioeconomic resources such as income and education, and relational resources such as marriage and social support moderate the association between neighborhood disadvantage and self-esteem. This study employs data from the Americans’ Changing Lives panel survey (hereafter ACL), a 15-year panel study of the U.S. adult population ages 25 and older in original sample. Because hierarchical linear model was employed to analyze data, findings provide fixed effect coefficients for independent variables at both the individual and census tract levels while controlling for random intercepts between census tracts. Findings based on data from the 4th wave of ACL reveal that neighborhood disadvantage is not associated with self-esteem. We do, however, find that living in a disadvantaged neighborhood worsens self-esteem for those who have lower levels of informal social support and are currently unmarried. These findings imply that while neighborhood disadvantage does not necessarily impact self-esteem, neighborhood disadvantage is detrimental to the self-esteem of those who report lower level of relational resources.


Cite This Article

Kim, J., Pai, M. (2022). Neighborhood Disadvantage and Self-Esteem—Do Socioeconomic and Relational Resources Matter?. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 24(3), 311–329.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
  • 1094


  • 570


  • 0


Share Link

WeChat scan