The residential psychosocial environment and mental wellbeing in deprived areas

Kearns, A., Whitley, E., Bond, L. and Tannahill, C. (2012) The residential psychosocial environment and mental wellbeing in deprived areas. International Journal of Housing Policy, 12(4), pp. 413-438. (doi:10.1080/14616718.2012.711985)

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Abstract

The importance of psychosocial environments to health outcomes – physical health, mental health and wellbeing, and health behaviours – has been increasingly recognised in recent years, but more so in relation to the workplace than other settings. This paper seeks to extend this field of inquiry both conceptually and empirically. It argues that housing and neighbourhoods can equally be viewed as comprising an important residential psychosocial environment operating via processes of appearance, perceived relative position, control, status and empowerment. The paper goes on to demonstrate this approach by looking at the relationships between housing and neighbourhood psychosocial risk factors and psychosocial benefits and mental wellbeing for residents in relatively deprived areas. A range of psychosocial factors are positively associated with mental wellbeing, with the most important being: the attainment of feelings of residential and personal progress; having a sense of control at home; and the aesthetic qualities of the dwelling and neighbourhood environment. Empowerment in relation to both one's landlord and local area changes were both also important, although slightly less strongly associated with mental wellbeing. The perceived relative position of the dwelling and neighbourhood had the least strong associations with mental wellbeing once aspects of quality were taken into account.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Whitley, Dr Elise and Kearns, Professor Ade and Bond, Professor Lyndal and Tannahill, Dr Carol
Authors: Kearns, A., Whitley, E., Bond, L., and Tannahill, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:International Journal of Housing Policy
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:1461-6718
ISSN (Online):1949-1255
Published Online:17 September 2012

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