Self-assessed health status and neighborhood context
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In recent years, there has been growing interest in the relationship between the characteristics of neighborhoods and the health and well-being of residents. The focus on neighborhood as a health determinant is based on the hypothesis that residing in a disadvantaged neighborhood can negatively influence health outcomes beyond the effect of individual characteristics. In this article, we examine three possible ways of measuring neighborhood socio-economic status, and how they each impact on self-reported health status beyond the effect contributed by individual-level factors. Using individual-level data from the Household Income and Labor Dynamics Australia survey combined with neighborhood-level (suburb) data, we tested the proposition that how one measures neighborhood socio-economic characteristics may provide an important new insight into understanding the links between individual-level outcomes and neighborhood-level characteristics. The findings from the analysis illustrate that although individual-level factors may be important to understanding health outcomes, how one accounts for neighborhood-level socio-economic status may be equally important. The findings suggest that in developing place-based health programs, policy makers need to account for the complex interactions between individual drivers and the potential complexities of accounting for neighborhood socio-economic status.
JOURNAL OF PREVENTION & INTERVENTION IN THE COMMUNITY
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