181085 Relationship between perceived neighborhood conditions and health among Detroit caregivers of children with asthma

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 5:00 PM

Larkin L. Strong, PhD, MPH , Department of Health Disparities Research, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Edith Parker, DrPH , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Stephanie Ann Farquhar, PhD , Associate Professor, School of Community Health, Portland State University, Portland, OR
Carla Keirns, MD, PhD , University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Barbara A. Israel, DrPH , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Angela Reyes, MPH , Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, Detroit, MI
Toby Lewis, MD , Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan, School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Increasingly, studies have highlighted the importance of neighborhood context to individual-level health. Using a longitudinal sample of 298 caregivers of children with asthma in Detroit, we examined the association between caregivers' perceptions of their physical and social neighborhood environments and self-reported health measures. Independent variables included scales of neighborhood protectors (sense of community, neighborhood control, neighborhood civic participation) and neighborhood stressors (violence, safety concerns, environmental concerns, and perceived blight and annoyances). Health outcomes included self-reported health status, the presence of specific chronic conditions, and depressive symptoms. In this predominantly female, African American, and low-income sample, nearly two-thirds reported being in good, very good, or excellent health, and 42% reported having at least one of the following: heart disease, asthma, diabetes, or hypertension. Using generalized estimating equations, we fit linear and logistic regression models adjusted for demographic characteristics to assess the relationship between neighborhood factors and continuous and binary health measures, respectively. Preliminary analyses suggest self-reported health status was positively associated with perceived neighborhood control and inversely related to safety and environmental concerns and neighborhood annoyances and blight. Respondents reporting safety and environmental concerns were also more likely to have at least one chronic condition than respondents not reporting these concerns. Finally, we observed significantly more depressive symptoms among caregivers reporting any neighborhood stressor and significantly fewer symptoms among those expressing a strong sense of community. These results suggest that perceived neighborhood conditions are strongly linked with physical and mental health. Implications for health education practice and policy will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
1 Identify perceived neighborhood characteristics that may be important to physical and mental health. 2 Describe the strengths and limitations of using respondentsí perceptions of their neighborhood environments as predictors of health. 3 Discuss the policy implications of the observed relationships between perceived neighborhood characteristics and health.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Ms. Keirns was involved in the analysis and interpretation of results for this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.