Were the mental health benefits of a housing mobility intervention larger for adolescents in higher socioeconomic status families?

Institute on Urban Health Research, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Avenue, 310 International Village, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Health & Place (Impact Factor: 2.81). 05/2013; 23C:79-88. DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2013.05.002
Source: PubMed


Moving to Opportunity (MTO) was a social experiment to test how relocation to lower poverty neighborhoods influences low-income families. Using adolescent data from 4 to 7 year evaluations (aged 12-19, n=2829), we applied gender-stratified intent-to-treat and adherence-adjusted linear regression models, to test effect modification of MTO intervention effects on adolescent mental health. Low parental education, welfare receipt, unemployment and never-married status were not significant effect modifiers. Tailoring mobility interventions by these characteristics may not be necessary to alter impact on adolescent mental health. Because parental enrollment in school and teen parent status adversely modified MTO intervention effects on youth mental health, post-move services that increase guidance and supervision of adolescents may help support post-move adjustment.

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Available from: Quynh C Nguyen, May 11, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: This paper reviews the magnitude and empirical findings of social epidemiological neighborhood effects research. An electronic keyword literature search identified 1369 empirical and methodological neighborhood effects papers published in 112 relevant journals between 1990 and 2014. Analyses of temporal trends were conducted by focus, journal type (e.g., epidemiology, public health, or social science), and specific epidemiologic journal. Select papers were then critically reviewed. Results show an ever-increasing number of papers published, notably since the year 2000, with the majority published in public health journals. The variety of health outcomes analyzed is extensive, ranging from infectious disease to obesity to criminal behavior. Papers relying on data from experimental designs are thought to yield the most credible results, but such studies are few and findings are inconsistent. Papers relying on data from observational designs and multilevel models typically show small statistically significant effects, but most fail to appreciate fundamental identification problems. Ultimately, of the 1170 empirically focused neighborhood effects papers published in the last 24 years, only a handful have clearly advanced our understanding of the phenomena. The independent impact of neighborhood contexts on health remains unclear. It is time to expand the social epidemiological imagination.
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