Online Program

Using local data to tell a more complete story: A mixed-methods study of how neighborhoods influence walking among African American adults living in urban communities

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 2:38 p.m. - 2:56 p.m.

Rashida Brown, MPH, School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Rutgers University (UMDNJ), Piscataway, NJ
Sabrina Chase, Ph.D., School of Nursing, Graduate Joint Urban Systems Ph.D. program, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ
Sandra E. Echeverria, PhD, MPH, School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, UMDNJ, Piscataway, NJ
Hanaa Hamdi, PhD, Department of Family Medicine, UMDNJ, Newark, NJ
Background Walking is the most common form of physical activity in the United States and neighborhoods can be an important resource for this activity. Limited evidence is available that integrates open-ended, qualitative data and closed-ended, survey measures to comprehensively examine how neighborhoods pattern walking in urban settings. Methods Using a mixed-methods approach involving focus group and in-depth interview data as well as data obtained from a community survey, we examined how various measures of the neighborhood context, including social connection/cohesion, violence, safety, and built environment factors are associated with walking among a sample of African American adults living in select high-poverty, urban neighborhoods in the city of Newark, New Jersey. Results The results of our qualitative analysis highlighted that changes in the walking environment (such as the opening of a park) did not necessarily change perceptions of neighborhood safety or violence. Participants explained that limited social interaction among neighbors made them apprehensive about walking through their neighborhood. Our log-transformed multivariate regression models indicated that lower levels of perceived neighborhood safety was significantly associated with lower levels of mean log metabolic equivalents of walking per week after adjustment for age, asthma, employment status, and built environment (B= -0.11; 95% Confidence Interval: -0.19, -0.02; p=0.02). Conclusion Neighborhood attributes such as safety influence both neighborhood social interaction and walking. Physical activity interventions for African American adults should consider the impact of contextual neighborhood factors.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the role of neighborhoods in shaping community health Describe features of neighborhoods associated with social interaction Describe features of neighborhoods associated with walking among adults

Keyword(s): Physical Activity, Community Health

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 research with Dr. Echeverria in the area of social epidemiology.
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.