247470 Examining Neighborhood Factors Associated with Adult Mental Health and Children's Physical Activity in Select Neighborhoods of Newark, New Jersey

Monday, October 31, 2011: 1:20 PM

Amiee Y. Luan, MPH Candidate in Epidemiology , Epidemiology Department, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ
Sandra E. Echeverria, PhD , School of Public Health, University of Medicine and Dentistry, Piscataway, NJ
Background Neighborhood features such as violence/safety have been identified as key determinants of adult health. However, little is known about the role of neighborhood factors influencing both adult and child health, particularly physical activity (PA) among children living in poor, urban neighborhoods. Methods The study population consisted of a community survey of adults aged 18-69, and one child aged 3-12 per household living in select neighborhoods of the Central Ward of Newark, New Jersey, a high poverty and racially segregated area of the city. A door-to-door survey assessed participants' access to neighborhood parks, neighborhood safety, violence, and social cohesion. Health measures included anxiety (adults) and children's use of parks and physical activity levels. Descriptive statistics, linear regression, and logistic regression were used for analyses. Results The study included 107 eligible households and 107 children. The majority of participants were female, African American, and only 5% had a college degree. Linear regression results showed that being exposed to violence is associated with increasing levels of anxiety (‚=0.15, p<0.01) and decreased levels of children's moderate PA (‚=-0.08, p= 0.03). Increasing levels of poor social cohesion was associated with increasing violence. Logistic regression models showed that increasing lack of safety was associated with children not visiting neighborhood parks (OR= 1.23, CI=1.04, 1.50). Conclusion Neighborhood violence influences adult anxiety and also children's activity levels, including use of local parks. Future interventions should consider targeting poor neighborhood environments to improve the health of all community members.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the role of neighborhoods in shaping community health Describe features of neighborhoods associated with adult mental health Describe features of neighborhoods associated with childrenís physical activity

Keywords: Violence, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified because I am a MPH candidate of Epidemiology at UMDNJ and I am conducting fieldwork research with Dr. Echeverria in the area of community health.
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.