Young women in Northern New Hampshire are more likely to suffer from depression, than their counterparts nationally, while young men are prone to substance abuse, says Sociology professor Karen Van Gundy, a fellow at UNH's Carsey Institute. Young adults in general are four times more likely to suffer from both problems than their rural counterparts nationwide.
Van Gundy says the causes of increased rates of depression and substance abuse are uncertain. But she believes it may have to do with stress from economic pressures:
We’ve seen while these kids were growing up clear economic declines, mills closing, jobs leaving, and these kids were raised in a context in which there were really uncertain futures.
Van Gundy says while these pressures have affected people across rural America, the Northeast has faced them more recently. She says the institute’s ongoing surveys show that community engagement strategies may help reduce these negative outcomes.