Using survey data from two youth samples, one rural and one urban, we examine the role and significance of perceived community cohesion in the stress process. In particular, we assess the extent to which community attachment and detachment are related to depressed mood, problem substance use, and delinquency net of social statuses, stress exposure, and personal attributes. In addition, we explore the degree to which those dimensions of community cohesion explain or condition the links between the above stress-process components (e.g., social statuses, stress exposure, and personal attributes) and well-being. We find remarkably similar results across samples: community attachment is related to lower odds of problem substance use and delinquency; community detachment is related to higher levels of depressed mood, problem substance use, and delinquency; and community attachment buffers the link between stress and problem substance use. With respect to depressed mood, however, the rural youth show greater vulnerability to stress than the urban youth and unique benefits from community attachment compared to the latter. Our findings highlight the roles of community attachment and detachment in the stress process and underscore the importance of each for youth well-being in rural and urban settings.



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Rural Sociology



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Copyright © 2011, by the Rural Sociological Society

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