Are there hopeless neighborhoods? An exploration of environmental associations between individual-level feelings of hopelessness and neighborhood characteristics

Christina Mair, George A. Kaplan, Susan Everson-Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Feelings of hopelessness are prospectively associated with increased risk of death, progression of atherosclerosis and other health outcomes. Places as well as people may promote a sense of hopelessness. We used the Chicago Community Adult Health Study to investigate whether feelings of hopelessness cluster at the neighborhood level. Random-intercept logistic models were used to examine associations of hopelessness with neighborhood conditions (physical disorder and decay, perceived violence and disorder, social cohesion) and census-based measures of neighborhood socioeconomic conditions (poverty, unemployment, % high school dropouts) from 1980-2000. Of the 3074 participants, 459 were categorized as experiencing hopelessness. Greater physical disorder and perceived disorder and a higher unemployment rate were associated with increased odds of hopelessness. Individuals' reports of hopelessness reflect physical, socioeconomic, and opportunity characteristics of their neighborhoods above and beyond their individual characteristics. Changing opportunity structures in a neighborhood may play a key role in reducing individuals' feelings of hopelessness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-439
Number of pages6
JournalHealth and Place
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

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Emotions
unemployment
Unemployment
socioeconomic conditions
Student Dropouts
unemployment rate
social cohesion
drop-out
health
violence
cohesion
Health
Censuses
Poverty
census
logistics
poverty
Violence
Atherosclerosis
death

Keywords

  • Disorder
  • Hopelessness
  • Neighborhood environments
  • Neighborhood socioeconomic conditions
  • Unemployment

Cite this

Are there hopeless neighborhoods? An exploration of environmental associations between individual-level feelings of hopelessness and neighborhood characteristics. / Mair, Christina; Kaplan, George A.; Everson-Rose, Susan.

In: Health and Place, Vol. 18, No. 2, 01.01.2012, p. 434-439.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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