Online Program

Impact of public housing relocations: Are changes in neighborhood conditions related to depression among relocating adults?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Josalin Hunter-Jones, MSW, MPH, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA
Hannah LF Cooper, ScD, SM, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Loida Bonney, MD, MPH, Division of General Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
Mary Kelley, PhD, Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Conny Karnes, MA, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Background:Recent studies suggest that neighborhood quality affects residents' mental health. Using data from a cohort of African-American adults relocating from US public housing complexes, we will report results of a multilevel longitudinal analysis testing the hypothesis that depression declines among adults who experience greater post-relocation improvements in neighborhood conditions.

Methods:Baseline data were collected from 172 public housing residents before relocations occurred; three waves of post-relocation data were collected every 6 months thereafter. Individual-level characteristics were assessed via survey; depression was ascertained using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Administrative data describe the census tracts where participants lived at each wave (e.g. poverty rates, violent crime rates, alcohol outlet density). Multilevel methods will be used to test hypotheses.

Results:At baseline, the mean CES-D score was 26 (SD=9) for women and 21 (SD=8) for men; the mean score declined to 17 (SD=11) and 14 (SD=8) for women and men, respectively, by Wave 2 and remained stable thereafter. Tract conditions improved as well. For example, the mean tract-level poverty rate declined from 46% at baseline to 28% at Wave 4, and the violent crime rate dropped from 3.4 to 2.3 per 1000 residents. Multilevel analyses will test associations between tract-level changes and depression.

Discussion:Relocaters experienced considerable declines in depression and improvements in multiple tract-level characteristics. Results of multilevel models will determine whether tract-level improvements were associated with declines in depressive symptoms, and which specific tract-level changes were most important. We will discuss implications for future research, interventions, and housing policy.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe how depressive symptoms changed in a sample of adults relocating from public housing over time. Describe changes in tract-level characteristics over time in the sample. Assess the relationships between pre-/post-relocation changes in tract-level exposures and depression.

Keyword(s): Depression, Housing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the coordinator for this project, and I am involved in data collection and analyses.
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.