Is empowerment a route to improving mental health and wellbeing in an urban regeneration (UR) context?

Baba, C., Kearns, A. , McIntosh, E. , Tannahill, C. and Lewsey, J. (2017) Is empowerment a route to improving mental health and wellbeing in an urban regeneration (UR) context? Urban Studies, 54(7), pp. 1619-1637. (doi: 10.1177/0042098016632435)

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UR programmes are recognised as a type of Population Health Intervention (PHI), addressing social and health inequalities. Policy recommends programmes involve communities through engagement and empowerment. Whilst the literature has started to link empowerment with health improvement this has not been within an UR context. As part of broader research on the economic evaluation of community empowerment activities, this paper examines how health gains can be generated through promoting empowerment as well as identifying whether feelings of empowerment are associated with residents personal characteristics or perceptions of their neighbourhood. Using 2011 Community Health and Wellbeing Survey (GoWell) cross-sectional data, ordinal logistic regression and simple linear regression analysis of 15 Glasgow neighbourhoods undergoing regeneration with 4,302 adult householders (≥16 years old) was completed. Analyses identified strong associations (P≥ 0.05) between empowerment and the mental health subscale of the SF12v2 and with several items of the WEMWBS scale. Furthermore, residents’ who felt more empowered reported more positive attitudes towards their surroundings and housing providers. This concurs with recent evidence of the importance of residents’ psychological investments in their neighbourhood influencing their sense of place attachment. Such analyses present initial evidence of the value of investing resources within UR programmes to activities geared towards increasing residents’ empowerment as a means of producing those health gains often sought by more costly aspects of the programmes.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lewsey, Professor Jim and Somers, Dr Camilla and McIntosh, Professor Emma and Kearns, Professor Ade and Tannahill, Dr Carol
Authors: Baba, C., Kearns, A., McIntosh, E., Tannahill, C., and Lewsey, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Urban Studies
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1360-063X
Published Online:26 February 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 SAGE Publications
First Published:First published in Urban Studies 54(7):1619-1637
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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