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Author

Jaclyn Rhodes

Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Geography

Supervisor

John Eyles

Language

English

Abstract

The purpose of this project is to perform a thorough quantitative analysis of the data that examines the relationship(s) between five health outcomes (emotional distress, BMI level, health satisfaction, self-assessed health status, and chronic conditions), six socio-demographic/economic characteristics (age, gender, employment status, education level, and tenure) and numerous environmental quality variables, in order to determine: are there any linkages between perceived neighbourhood environmental characteristics, perceived housing characteristics, sociodemographic characteristics, and the participants' health status?
The data (n=671) included participants living in one of four Hamilton neighbourhoods (Chedoke-Kirkendall, the Downtown Core, Northeast Industrial, and the Southwest Mountain). Participants were asked questions about how they perceive their neighbourhood, both physically and socially, and their health.
The analysis included cross-tabulations, testing of the means, and logistic regression models and the hypothesis that self-reported health, measured in a variety of ways, will vary by neighbourhood, mediated by the socio-demographic/economic factors, proved to be correct in various regression models run on the data: self-reported Emotional Distress (GHQ) is mediated by age and income; self reported BMI is mediated by
age, education, gender, and tenure; self-reported Health Satisfaction is mediated by age; self-reported Self-Assessed Health Status is mediated by age; and self-reported Chronic Conditions are mediated by age and education.
The findings from this project will increase knowledge about how perceived social and physical aspects of neighbourhoods may influence individual and population health status will provide information to inform health planning and policy decisions in ways which are better suited to the socio-demographically/economically distinct neighbourhoods.

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