Extreme Warfare: Residency in Housing Voucher-Dense Communities, Violence, and Adolescent Mental Health

Amanda Kalamar, Johns Hopkins University
Tanya Lukasik, Johns Hopkins University
Robert Blum, Johns Hopkins University
Freya Sonenstein, Johns Hopkins University
Beth Marshall, Johns Hopkins University
Kristin Mmari, Johns Hopkins University
Michele Decker, Johns Hopkins University

Federal housing policy has shifted focus considerably, moving away from project-based, supply-side housing production programs toward tenant-based, demand-side subsidy programs, the largest of which is the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. HCV aims to ultimately deconcentrate poverty and promote upward social and geographic mobility, leading to improved employment, educational, and health outcomes. Little research exists examining mental health outcomes among adolescents in communities with a large concentration of HCV subsidized housing. Using data from the Baltimore site of the WAVE study, multivariate logistic regression analyses show that adolescents residing in extremely voucher dense environments report being more fearful in their communities and that residency in these environments modifies the effect of exposure to violence in the community on symptomology of PTSD. The concentration of these voucher-assisted households may be creating added vulnerability for these adolescents in terms of fear and mental health that warrant further exploration.

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Presented in Poster Session 8: Adult Health and Mortality