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Organizations, neighborhood capital, and individual health

Meadow J. Linder, BA, Sociology, University Of Michigan, 426 Thompson St., 3359 Institute for Social Research, Ann Arbor, MI 48103, 734-615-7465, linderm@isr.umich.edu

Inequalities in the physical, financial, political, human, and social capital available to communities are linked to health disparities. However much remains to be learned about the social and environmental mechanisms through which neighborhood disadvantage produces individual disadvantage. Urban sociologists identify neighborhood organizations (NBOs) as critical agents in shaping neighborhood environments. This project examines whether NBOs, and neighborhood organizational infrastructure, influence what public goods and resources are available. The relationship between neighborhood organizational infrastructure and the health of residents is subsequently examined. This knowledge will provide public health workers, social work professionals, and policymakers, new avenues for community-level interventions. Data are drawn from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods’ Community Survey (PHDCN 1994-95), the Chicago Community Adult Health Survey (CCAHS 2001-02), and the 1990 and 2000 U.S. Censuses. 343 neighborhood clusters (NC) were constructed for both the PHDCN and CCAHS by aggregating Chicago’s 825 census tracts. The PHDCN individual sample was 8,782 and the CCAHS sample 3,104. Census variables characterize the socioeconomic and racial contexts of NCs. Organizational measures, derived from the PHDCN, capture the presence of particular types of NBOs, organizational density, and organizational diversity. Measures of neighborhood capital (e.g. collective efficacy, civic participation, physical capital, and diversity of residents’ social networks) are drawn from all three datasets. CCAHS health measures include obesity, health behaviors, depression, and self-rated health. Analyses on the relationship between organizational infrastructure and neighborhood capital are conducted in STATA and analyses pertaining to the impact of organizations on individual health are conducted in HLM.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to

Keywords: Community, Social Inequalities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Community and Social Justice

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA