243750 Moderating Effects of Race/Ethnicity on the Relationship between Homeownership and Health

Monday, October 31, 2011

Selena Ortiz, MPH , School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Frederick Zimmerman, PhD , Department of Health Services School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Previous studies on the benefits of homeownership suggest higher health status and improved health outcomes. One gap in the literature is the effect of homeownership on health within different racial and ethnic minority groups. This study tests whether race moderates the effects of homeownership on self-reported health status, physical and psychological health outcomes, delays in medical care and delays in obtaining prescription medication.

We pooled data from the 2003, 2005, and 2007 California Health Interview Survey and included US born Latinos (N = 11,867), African Americans (N = 6,314) and non-Latino whites (N = 79,109) only. We used ordinal logistic regression to examine differences in self-perceived health status; zero inflated count regression to predict incidence risk ratios for number of psychological and general health conditions; and logistic regression to predict odds ratios for delays in medical care and obtaining prescription medication.

Our data confirmed that race significantly moderates the effect of homeownership on health, adjusting for a variety of socio-demographic and economic factors. However, while homeownership is a robust, independent predictor for each of these health outcomes in the non-Latino white population, homeownership is non-significant in predicting health outcomes in racial and ethnic minorities.

In spite of the recent housing crisis and economic recession, homeownership continues to be aggressively promoted within racial and ethnic communities. We discuss the idea that housing security is more directly linked to improved health outcomes than homeownership itself for ethnic minorities. Policies that improve housing security and decrease mortgage indebtedness for ethnic minorities are recommended.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the causal relationship between home ownership and health outcomes. Assess whether race/ethnicity moderates the relationship between home ownership and health. List two reasons why the relationship between home ownership and health functions differently for ethnic minorities than it does for non-Latino whites.

Keywords: Ethnic Minorities, Housing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a PhD student in Health Services with a cognate in Political Science, I have a strong educational background in health outcomes and health care utilization as well as housing policy and the effects of housing on health outcomes. I conceptualized the study, analyzed the data, and developed a comprehensive discussion around the findings.
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.