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Neighbourhood Effects on Health: A Structural Equation Modelling Approach

Stafford, Mai | Sacker, Amanda | Ellaway, Anne | Cummins, Steven | Wiggins, Dick | Macintyre, Sally

Journal of Contextual Economics – Schmollers Jahrbuch, Vol. 128 (2008), Iss. 1: pp. 109–120

2 Citations (CrossRef)

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1Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University College London, 1 – 19 Torrington Place, London, WC1E 6BT, UK.

2International Institute for Society and Health, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University College London, UK.

3MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, UK.

4Department of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London, UK.

5Department of Sociology, City University London, UK.

6MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, UK.

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  1. On the application of structural equation modeling for the construction of a health index

    Yanuar, Ferra | Ibrahim, Kamarulzaman | Jemain, Abdul Aziz

    Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine, Vol. 15 (2010), Iss. 5 P.285 [Citations: 13]
  2. Effects of the Built Environment on Childhood Obesity: The Case of Urban Recreational Trails and Crime

    Sandy, Robert | Tchernis, Rusty | Wilson, Jeffrey | Liu, Gilbert | Zhou, Xilin

    SSRN Electronic Journal, Vol. (2011), Iss. [Citations: 0]


Many studies document associations between area deprivation and health but the explanatory pathways linking deprivation to health are not clear. Potential neighbourhood determinants of health include socio-relational characteristics, the built environment and neighbourhood amenities. Using obesity as an example, we theorised a model of the potential causal pathways linking neighbourhood characteristics, through diet and physical activity, to obesity. A structural equation modelling approach was used to test the model empirically using health data from national surveys in England and Scotland. The advantages and limitations of structural equation modelling are discussed and we contend that the approach provides a useful way of combining data from several sources to test theorised explanatory models linking the neighbourhood to health.

JEL Classifications: C3, I18