Online Program

Low-income housing policy, characteristics of the home environment, and mental health outcomes among Bronx Latino adults: The AHOME Study

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.

Damaris Fuster, MA, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY
Shakira Suglia, ScD, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY
Emily Rosenbaum, Ph.D., Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Fordham University, Bronx, NY
Earle C. Chambers, PhD, MPH, Department of Family and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY
Residents of households subsidized with federal housing vouchers exhibit fewer mental health problems than residents of public housing. The role of housing conditions and neighborhood quality in this relationship is unclear. This study investigated the relationship between rental assistance, housing and neighborhood conditions, and the risk of depressive symptomology and hostile affect among low-income Latino adults in the Bronx, NY. Adults participating in the Affordable Housing as an Obesity Mediating Environment (AHOME) study were used for analysis. All participants were eligible for federal low-income housing rental assistance (N=385) and living in the Bronx, New York (2010-2012). Housing, (crowding and structural deficiencies) and neighborhood (physical disorder and social cohesion) were measured by questionnaire. Depressive symptomology was measured using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale Short Form, CES-D 10 (score >10). Hostile affect was measured using items from the Cook-Medley Hostility Scale (score > 4). Results suggest residents of Section 8 housing have similar levels of depressive symptomology and hostility compared to residents in public housing or those receiving no federal housing assistance. However, depressive symptomology was significantly associated with maintenance deficiencies [OR= 1.17; CI: 1.02, 1.35] and social cohesion [OR= 0.71; CI: 0.55, 0.93]. Hostility was significantly associated with perceived crowding [OR= 1.18; CI: 1.16, 2.85], neighborhood physical disorder [OR= 1.94; CI: 1.12, 3.40] and social cohesion [OR= 0.70; CI: 0.50, 0.98]. Low-income housing assistance did not have an independent effect on mental health outcomes. However, characteristics of the housing and neighborhood environments were associated with depressive symptomology and hostility.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate whether different low income housing options are associated with mental health outcomes among urban Latino adults. Discuss how characteristics of the housing environment are associated with mental health outcomes among Latino adults.

Keyword(s): Mental Health, Latinos

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a research coordinator of multiple federally funded grants focusing on psychological factors related to socioeconomic status, depression, and suicidality. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies for prevention of affect disorders in underrepresented populations.
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.