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Sense of Belonging and Mental Health in Hamilton, Ontario: An Intra-Urban Analysis

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  • Peter Kitchen

    ()

  • Allison Williams
  • James Chowhan

Abstract

This paper examines geographic variations in sense of community belonging in Hamilton, Ontario. It also identifies the most significant health and social factors associated with belonging in the city. The research employs data from the 2007/08 Canadian Community Health Survey for respondents aged 18 or over living in the Hamilton Census Metropolitan Area. The primary unit of geography is the forward sortation area (FSA), which correspond with the boundaries comprising the first three digits of the postal code. The paper found that, overall, residents of Hamilton enjoy a strong sense of belonging to their community, one of the highest rates in Canada. Consistent with research at the national level, the paper revealed a strong and clear association between lower sense of belonging and lower self-perceived mental health. Age (45–64) and household type (couples with children) were associated with higher sense of belonging. The mapping analysis revealed that sense of belonging was generally strongest among residents of rural Hamilton and became weaker moving towards the city centre, with particularly low levels evident in the Lower City. The presence of lower sense of belonging and lower mental health was clearly visible in three FSAs comprising the central portion of the Lower City. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Kitchen & Allison Williams & James Chowhan, 2012. "Sense of Belonging and Mental Health in Hamilton, Ontario: An Intra-Urban Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 108(2), pages 277-297, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:108:y:2012:i:2:p:277-297
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-012-0066-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Peter Kitchen & Allison Williams & James Chowhan, 2012. "Sense of Community Belonging and Health in Canada: A Regional Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 107(1), pages 103-126, May.
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