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Local neighbourhood and mental health: Evidence from the UK

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  • Propper, Carol
  • Jones, Kelvyn
  • Bolster, Anne
  • Burgess, Simon
  • Johnston, Ron
  • Sarker, Rebecca

Abstract

This paper examines the association between neighbourhood and levels and changes in common mental disorders. Using data from a large scale nationally representative survey of individuals and households (the British Household Panel Survey), it locates individuals in their local neighbourhoods. These are defined as the nearest 500-800 persons centered around each individual in the survey. These 'bespoke' neighbourhoods are characterised according to five dimensions--disadvantage, mobility, age, ethnicity and urbanness--derived from factor analysis of the census characteristics of the residents of neighbourhoods in 1991. These dimensions measure characteristics of place that have been argued to be associated with mental ill health. The paper estimates multilevel models of the level and 5-year changes of common mental disorders (measured by the twelve item version of the General Health Questionnaire). Three and two level models are estimated, all of which allow for individual and household characteristics that may act as confounders of any neighbourhood effect. The results show the extent of association between neighbourhood and both levels and changes in mental health is limited. Less than one percent of the variance across individuals is at the neighbourhood level. The neighbourhood characteristics are not generally statistically associated with levels or changes in mental ill health. There is some evidence of interaction between neighbourhood characteristics and gender and ethnicity, but while statistically significant these interactions are small in size compared to the main effects of individual and household characteristics. What appears to be important for levels of common mental disorders are the observed characteristics of individuals and their households, not of place.

Suggested Citation

  • Propper, Carol & Jones, Kelvyn & Bolster, Anne & Burgess, Simon & Johnston, Ron & Sarker, Rebecca, 2005. "Local neighbourhood and mental health: Evidence from the UK," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(10), pages 2065-2083, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:61:y:2005:i:10:p:2065-2083
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1733-1749, April.
    2. David Blanchflower & Andrew Oswald & Sarah Stewart-Brown, 2013. "Is Psychological Well-Being Linked to the Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 114(3), pages 785-801, December.
    3. Fone, David & Dunstan, Frank & Williams, Gareth & Lloyd, Keith & Palmer, Stephen, 2007. "Places, people and mental health: A multilevel analysis of economic inactivity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 633-645, February.
    4. Graif, Corina & Arcaya, Mariana C. & Diez Roux, Ana V., 2016. "Moving to opportunity and mental health: Exploring the spatial context of neighborhood effects," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 50-58.
    5. Denis Gerstorf & Nilam Ram & Jan Goebel & Jürgen Schupp & Ulman Lindenberger & Gert G. Wagner, 2010. "Where People Live and Die Makes a Difference: Individual and Geographic Disparities in Well-Being Progression at the End of Life," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 287, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    6. Stafford, Mai & Duke-Williams, Oliver & Shelton, Nicola, 2008. "Small area inequalities in health: Are we underestimating them?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(6), pages 891-899, September.
    7. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Money and mental wellbeing: A longitudinal study of medium-sized lottery wins," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 49-60, January.
    8. Andrew J. Oswald & Stephen Wu, 2011. "Well-Being across America," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1118-1134, November.
    9. Burke, Jessica & O'Campo, Patricia & Salmon, Christina & Walker, Renee, 2009. "Pathways connecting neighborhood influences and mental well-being: Socioeconomic position and gender differences," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 1294-1304, April.
    10. Curry, Aaron & Latkin, Carl & Davey-Rothwell, Melissa, 2008. "Pathways to depression: The impact of neighborhood violent crime on inner-city residents in Baltimore, Maryland, USA," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 23-30, July.
    11. Matheson, Flora I. & Moineddin, Rahim & Dunn, James R. & Creatore, Maria Isabella & Gozdyra, Piotr & Glazier, Richard H., 2006. "Urban neighborhoods, chronic stress, gender and depression," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(10), pages 2604-2616, November.
    12. Elliott, Jane & Gale, Catharine R. & Parsons, Samantha & Kuh, Diana, 2014. "Neighbourhood cohesion and mental wellbeing among older adults: A mixed methods approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 44-51.
    13. Gundi Knies & C. Katharina Spieß, 2007. "Regional Data in the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP)," Data Documentation 17, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    14. Dylan Kneale & Ruth Lupton, 2010. "Are there neighbourhood effects on teenage parenthood in the UK, and does it matter for policy? A review of theory and evidence," CASE Papers case141, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    15. Bell, Andrew, 2014. "Life-course and cohort trajectories of mental health in the UK, 1991–2008 – A multilevel age–period–cohort analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 21-30.
    16. Tipper, Adam, 2010. "Economic models of the family and the relationship between economic status and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(10), pages 1567-1573, May.
    17. Cheng, Lingguo & Liu, Hong & Zhang, Ye & Zhao, Zhong, 2016. "The Health Implications of Social Pensions: Evidence from China's New Rural Pension Scheme," IZA Discussion Papers 9621, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Andrew E. Clark & Andrew J. Oswald, 2006. "The curved relationship between subjective well-being and age," Working Papers halshs-00590404, HAL.
    19. George Galster & Lina Hedman, 2013. "Measuring Neighbourhood Effects Non-experimentally: How Much Do Alternative Methods Matter?," Housing Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(3), pages 473-498, April.
    20. Petrović, Ana & Manley, David & van Ham, Maarten, 2018. "Freedom from the Tyranny of Neighbourhood: Rethinking Socio-Spatial Context Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 11416, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    21. Andrew E. Clark, 2006. "Born to be mild? Cohort effects don't explain why well-being is U-shaped in age," Working Papers halshs-00590307, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mental health Neighbourhood Multilevel modelling UK;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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