American Sociological Association

Neighborhood Effects on Immigrants’ Experiences of Work-Family Conflict and Psychological Distress

The neighborhood context is considered a key institution of inequality influencing individuals’ exposure and psychological vulnerability to stressors in the work-family interface, including work-family conflict (WFC). However, experiences of neighborhood context, WFC, and its mental health consequences among minority populations—including foreign-born residents—remain unexplored. We address this limitation and draw on tenants of the stress process model to unpack our hypotheses. We further test whether our focal associations vary for mothers and fathers. Using multilevel data from Toronto, Canada (N = 794), we find that neighborhood disadvantage—measured at the census level—increases reports of WFC among all respondents except foreign-born fathers, who report a decrease in WFC as disadvantage increases. Despite this benefit, the WFC of foreign-born fathers in disadvantaged neighborhoods leads to greater distress compared to other respondents. Our findings highlight important gender differences by nativity status in the impact of neighborhood context on individual-level stressors and mental health.


Marisa Young





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