Inter-relationships between objective and subjective measures of the residential environment among urban African American women.

Shawnita Sealy-Jefferson, Lynne Messer, Jaime Slaughter-Acey, Dawn P. Misra, Shawnita Sealy-Jefferson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


<bold>Purpose: </bold>The inter-relationships between objective (census based) and subjective (resident reported) measures of the residential environment is understudied in African American (AA) populations.<bold>Methods: </bold>Using data from the Life Influences on Fetal Environments Study (2009-2011; n = 1387) of AA women, we quantified the area-level variation in subjective reports of residential healthy food availability, walkability, safety, and disorder that can be accounted for with an objective neighborhood disadvantage index (NDI). Two-level generalized linear models estimated associations between objective and subjective measures of the residential environment, accounting for individual-level covariates.<bold>Results: </bold>In unconditional models, intraclass correlation coefficients for block-group variance in subjective reports ranged from 11% (healthy food availability) to 30% (safety). Models accounting for the NDI (vs. both NDI and individual-level covariates) accounted for more variance in healthy food availability (23% vs. 8%) and social disorder (40% vs. 38%). The NDI and individual-level variables accounted for 39% and 51% of the area-level variation in walkability and safety, respectively. Associations between subjective and objective measures of the residential environment were significant and in the expected direction.<bold>Conclusions: </bold>Future studies on neighborhood effects on health, especially among AAs, should include a wide range of residential environment measures, including subjective, objective, and spatial contextual variables.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-168
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • AFRICAN American women
  • INTERPERSONAL relations
  • PUBLIC health
  • LINEAR statistical models
  • STATISTICS on black people
  • COMPARATIVE studies
  • RESEARCH methodology
  • MEDICAL cooperation
  • RESEARCH funding
  • CITY dwellers
  • RESIDENTIAL patterns
  • EVALUATION research
  • SOCIAL context
  • African Americans
  • Neighborhood disadvantage
  • Neighborhood measurement
  • Objective
  • Physical and social
  • Residential environment
  • Subjective
  • Urban


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