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This study examined whether perceived neighborhood cohesion (the extent to which neighbors trust and count on one another) buffers against the mental health effects of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.


The XXX University National COVID-19 and Mental Health Study surveyed US adults (N = 3965; M age = 39 years), measuring depressive symptoms, staying home more during than before the 2020 pandemic, and perceived neighborhood cohesion.


A series of linear regressions indicated that perceiving one's neighborhood as more cohesive was not only associated with fewer depressive symptoms, but also attenuated the relationship between spending more time at home during the pandemic and depressive symptoms. These relationships persisted even after taking into account several individual-level sociodemographic characteristics as well as multiple contextual features, i.e., median household income, population density, and racial/ethnic diversity of the zip codes in which participants resided.


Neighborhood cohesion may be leveraged to mitigate pandemic impacts on depressive symptoms.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Social Science & Medicine. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Social Science & Medicine, volume 285, in 2021.

This scholarship is part of the Chapman University COVID-19 Archives.

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