Section 37
Chapter 36,738

Perceived neighborhood quality, sleep quality, and health status: evidence from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

Hale, L.; Hill, T.D.; Friedman, E.; Nieto, F.J.; Galvao, L.W.; Engelman, C.D.; Malecki, K.M.C.; Peppard, P.E.

Social Science and Medicine 79: 16-22


ISSN/ISBN: 1873-5347
PMID: 22901794
DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.07.021
Accession: 036737045

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Why does living in a disadvantaged neighborhood predict poorer mental and physical health? Recent research focusing on the Southwestern United States suggests that disadvantaged neighborhoods favor poor health, in part, because they undermine sleep quality. Building on previous research, we test whether this process extends to the Midwestern United States. Specifically, we use cross-sectional data from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW), a statewide probability sample of Wisconsin adults, to examine whether associations among perceived neighborhood quality (e.g., perceptions of crime, litter, and pleasantness in the neighborhood) and health status (overall self-rated health and depression) are mediated by overall sleep quality (measured as self-rated sleep quality and physician diagnosis of sleep apnea). We find that perceptions of low neighborhood quality are associated with poorer self-rated sleep quality, poorer self-rated health, and more depressive symptoms. We also observe that poorer self-rated sleep quality is associated with poorer self-rated health and more depressive symptoms. Our mediation analyses indicate that self-rated sleep quality partially mediates the link between perceived neighborhood quality and health status. Specifically, self-rated sleep quality explains approximately 20% of the association between neighborhood quality and self-rated health and nearly 19% of the association between neighborhood quality and depression. Taken together, these results confirm previous research and extend the generalizability of the indirect effect of perceived neighborhood context on health status through sleep quality.

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