220942 You can count on me, kid: Social cohesion and the health of youth in urban environments

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Jiexin Liu, PhD, MBA, MS , Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ
Jill Rissi, PhD , Hatfield School of Government, Division of Public Administration, Portland State University, Portland, OR
Pamela Garcia-Filion, MPH , Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ
Peggy Radford, MD , Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ
The health of people is influenced by the characteristics of the places they live and the social capital generated by their interactions with others in the community. While urban policy, social work and public health are old friends, in recent years they have been reacquainted though the concept of social determinants of health those factors that determine the distribution of both resources and health within a geographic area. Using data from the 2008 Arizona Health Survey, this paper assesses the impact of perceived neighborhood social cohesion on reported health status of youth (age 0 to17; N=624). Findings indicate that positive social cohesion is strongly associated with both better health status and access to care. Multiple regression analysis is used to explore the more subtle effects of social cohesion and perceived neighborhood safety on health status and access to care. Findings suggest that certain dimensions of social cohesion such as community parenting are positively associated with youths' health (OR=2.91; p-value=0.004), while others such as reciprocity may act as protective factors among residents who do not have a usual source of care (OR=3.49; p-value=0.032). This research contributes to a growing body of evidence about the role of neighborhood social cohesion and social capital as mediating factors in the distribution of health and health outcomes, and suggests that the formal and informal social connections which enhance these factors within communities have the potential to improve the health status of urban youth.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) Explain the relationship between community social cohesion and population health. 2) Identify the components factors used to measure community social cohesion in population-based surveys. 3) Discuss the implications of socio-cultural norms of reciprocity, trust and community parenting for the health status of youth living in urban environments. 4) Describe the role of community social cohesion for youth who lack access to a regular source of health care.

Keywords: Children and Adolescents, Community Assets

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I was the director of the survey utilized for this research and have been involved with the analysis and interpretation of the data.
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.