ESRC Research Methods Programme Working Papers
June 1, 2004
Using a very local definition of neighbourhood, and characterising that neighbourhood along five relatively orthogonal dimensions based on the socio-economic characteristics of the population of the neighbourhood, this paper examines the association between neighbourhood and levels and changes in mental health. We find that the extent of association between neighbourhood and both levels and changes in mental health is limited. While there are some individuals whose mental health is statistically associated with their neighbourhood composition, the importance of these
differences is not large. What appears to be important for levels of mental health are the
characteristics of individuals and their households, not place. Changes in mental health are not even associated with the characteristics that predict levels of health.