Does the level of wealth inequality within an area influence the prevalence of depression among older people

Alan David Marshall, Stephen Jivraj, James Nazroo, Gindo Tampubolon, Bram Vanhoutte

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper considers whether the extent of inequality in house prices within neighbourhoods of England is associated with depressive symptoms in the older population using the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. We consider two competing hypotheses: first, the wealth inequality hypothesis which proposes that neighbourhood inequality is harmful to health and, second, the mixed neighbourhood hypothesis which suggests that socially mixed neighbourhoods are beneficial for health outcomes. Our results are supportive of the mixed neighbourhood hypothesis, we find a significant association between neighbourhood inequality and depression with lower levels of depression amongst older people in neighbourhoods with greater house price inequality after controlling for individual socio-economic and area correlates of depression. The association between area inequality and depression is strongest for the poorest individuals, but also holds among the most affluent. Our results are in line with research that suggests there are social and health benefits associated with economically mixed communities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)194-204
    Number of pages11
    JournalHealth & Place
    Issue number27
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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