Perception of place and health: differences between neighbourhoods in the Québec City region

This paper addresses two questions: (1) Can people's perceptions of problems and social cohesion in the neighbourhood be considered as contextual variables; and (2) are these perceptions related to people's health? Data come from a general health survey carried out in 2004 among 1634 individuals living in three localities of the region of Québec City, namely a downtown, a suburban and a rural area, which were further subdivided into 34 smaller spatial units, hereafter called neighbourhoods. The survey included questions on individuals' perception of problems (social and environmental) and social cohesion (attraction to neighbourhood, neighbouring and psychological sense of community) in the neighbourhood, as well as questions on self-rated health, long-term disability and self-mastery. A first set of logistic multilevel models was performed to ascertain the existence of neighbourhood variations in the perception of problems and social cohesion, after accounting for individual attributes. A second set of multilevel models was carried out to examine the association between perceived problems and social cohesion in the neighbourhood and people's health. Results show that, after accounting for individual attributes, the perception of problems and social cohesion varies significantly by neighbourhood and/or localities and can be considered as contextual variables. Furthermore, these perceptions of place appear to be significant predictors of people's health.
Authors (Zotero)
Pampalon, Robert; Hamel, Denis; De Koninck, Maria; Disant, Marie-Jeanne
Date (Zotero)
Julio, 2007