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Walking, exercising, and smoking: does neighborhood matter?

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  • Ross, Catherine E.
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    Abstract

    Neighborhood context could affect health behaviors because of structure or contagion. We expected that residents of US neighborhoods where a high percentage of residents are poor and do not have college degrees would be more likely to smoke and less likely to walk and exercise. We examined the hypotheses using multi-level data in which survey information from a representative sample of Illinois residents is linked to census-tract information about poverty and education in their neighborhood. Contrary to expectations we found that residents of poor neighborhoods were more likely to walk than those in less disadvantaged places, adjusting for individual poverty, household income, education, race, ethnicity, sex, age, and marital status. This was the case despite the fact that residents of poor neighborhoods were more afraid to leave the house and feared being victimized on the streets. Consistent with expectations we found that residents of neighborhoods where a high percentage of residents are college educated are more likely to walk. Thus, the two aspects of neighborhood socioeconomic status had opposite effects on walking. Neighborhood context had no effect on the likelihood of exercising strenuously. Men in poor neighborhoods were more likely to smoke than those in less disadvantaged places, but neighborhood context had no significant effect on women's likelihood of smoking.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VBF-402TNSJ-9/2/a106a48ad8e236123098f14ae19572f9
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 51 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 2 (July)
    Pages: 265-274

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:51:y:2000:i:2:p:265-274

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    Related research

    Keywords: Neighborhoods Health behaviors Exercise Smoking;

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    Cited by:
    1. Deja Hendrickson & Chery Smith & Nicole Eikenberry, 2006. "Fruit and vegetable access in four low-income food deserts communities in Minnesota," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 371-383, October.
    2. Kuipers, Mirte A.G. & Wingen, Marleen & Stronks, Karien & Kunst, Anton E., 2013. "Smoking initiation, continuation and prevalence in deprived urban areas compared to non-deprived urban areas in The Netherlands," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 132-137.
    3. Wen, Ming & Maloney, Thomas N., 2014. "Neighborhood socioeconomic status and BMI differences by immigrant and legal status: Evidence from Utah," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 120-131.
    4. Do, D. Phuong & Dubowitz, Tamara & Bird, Chloe E. & Lurie, Nicole & Escarce, Jose J. & Finch, Brian K., 2007. "Neighborhood context and ethnicity differences in body mass index: A multilevel analysis using the NHANES III survey (1988-1994)," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 179-203, July.
    5. Rachel Tolbert Kimbro & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn & Sara McLanahan, 2010. "Neighborhood Context, Poverty, and Urban Children’s Outdoor Play," Working Papers 1226, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    6. Kendzor, Darla E. & Reitzel, Lorraine R. & Mazas, Carlos A. & Cofta-Woerpel, Ludmila M. & Cao, Yumei & Ji, Lingyun & Costello, Tracy J. & Vidrine, Jennifer Irvin & Businelle, Michael S. & Li, Yisheng , 2012. "Individual- and area-level unemployment influence smoking cessation among African Americans participating in a randomized clinical trial," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(9), pages 1394-1401.

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