There are physical, structural and social affects on mental health, when living in urban neighborhoods. Many of these outcomes are negative. It is important for psychologist’s to understand these problems. Psychology can contribute to help prevent these neighborhoods in distress, to improve their conditions. Neighborhoods build the cities. Living in a certain neighborhood can have a large influence of the adults and children in it. It is important for psychologists to understand the effects these neighborhoods cause on mental health.
Although urban neighborhoods can have a positive affect, the majority of research is focused on the negative ones. This includes studies of the poor and working- class neighborhoods. These problems must be noticed and understood to help these cities. The structural model was one way to research the problems. It links neighborhood characteristics, such as, family disruption, racial composition, and poverty to mental- health related problems (1). More complex structural models propose meditating processes that support the assumption that distressed neighborhoods are associated with more social problems.
These include neighborhoods that lack economic and social resources. Included in structural characteristics is juvenile delinquency. Juvenile violence results from families of divorced parents; female- headed households and poverty. These conditions, along with impoverishment, instability, and the ratio of children to adults, also result in child maltreatment. Stable support and relationships are difficult to establish, as well as neighborhood organizations and internal sources of control, which lead to poor outcomes.
The second type of research was the neighborhood disorder model. These characteristics present the physical and social signs of neighborhood decline (1). Some physical incivilities include decapitated houses, abandoned buildings, vandalism, and garbage. Some social ones include drug trade, public drunkenness, and noisy neighborhoods. All of these have an impact on people’s safety and mental health. They are not normal and appropriate social and public behavior. These events also lack direct, effective response to the problem.
Most research on the incivilities studied the impact of these neighborhood crimes on the residents living there. The most fear was of those in cities of high crime rate and incivilities. They were most fearful. All of this fear can lead to more crime, because of the effect it has on people’s behavior for protection. Examinations of the relationship between sustained fear of crime and deteriorating mental health have been performed, using past victimization, indirect victimization, and ratings of neighborhood disorder.
It was found that fear of crime was related to levels of depression and anxiety over time, which result in psychopathological outcomes. Another research used was the environmental stress model. It examines the relationship between elements of the ambient and built environment and individual mental health outcomes (1). Studies have shown that stressful situations of a person’s every day life, such as, daily hassles, and catastrophes, have a negative effect of mental and physical health. Conditions such as noise, crowding or pollution interfere with goals and can affect physical or psychological health.
Noise was one example. People of noisy areas were more likely to perform worse in schools, were arrested more, and cared less than those of quiet neighborhoods. Crowding of certain neighborhoods was also tested. It was found that the children of these areas had greater behavioral problems, exhibited more anxiety, and hyperactivity, and would score lower in certain areas of schoolwork. Research has also shown some effects on children of toxic neighborhoods. The social stressors, and the lack of social networks negatively influence children.
Social conditions such as high percentages of single parent families, crime rates, and violence are all related directly to poor childhood outcomes. They cause difficulties in concentration, feelings of fear and anxiety, and experienced memory impairment. It is important for parents to be positive models, establish support networks and effective parenting styles to help their children. Increasing high activity levels, cognitive skills, and resourcefulness in new situations can help all of these problems.
Despite living in risky settings, the research of resilience has pointed out these characteristics to help these children. Supportive relationships with community members, and a healthy environment can also improve the mental health. Parents and teachers should focus on bonding and group activities with the children. Being exposed to a positive environment will create a positive affect. In conclusion, neighborhoods and their environments have an affect on the mental health of people, of all ages. There is however much that goes unknown. There are many areas that have not been analyzed or answered.
There are many solutions for helping those of poor neighborhoods, but not much is known for the rich neighborhoods. There are, however, many problems affecting mental health in those neighborhoods as well. People assume that it should be the city workers such as policymakers and social workers correcting the problem. However, psychologists can help as well. They can understand the feelings of these people and develop special support systems for them. They know and can see what neighborhoods need the most help. Providing therapy to these families can improve the bad situations also.
The building of support networks, by psychologists, improve the people mentally, socially, and economically. Overall, the help of psychologists in these urban neighborhoods provides positive effects on mental health. I feel that this article was a very good one. There are many people in these urban neighborhoods that need mental help. They did not choose to live this way, but that is just the type of environment they were born and raised into. Many young, innocent lives are being taken because of poor living conditions, such as, violence, drugs, gangs, and poor education.
It is a good idea for the people of the neighborhoods to come together as one and unite. This will encourage good behavior, and teamwork. Psychologists are very important to these neighborhoods as well. They are able to help these people professionally. They analyze and understand the feelings of many lives. They can also provide the necessary therapy and treatment of these people. A psychologist’s job is to help people in need. This is a great project for them to accomplish. Changing the lives, and helping the mental health of many people, is a great achievement for a psychologist.