Dynamics of Income and Neighborhood Context on Health and Racial Health Disparities

D. Phuong Do, University of Michigan

Cross-sectional neighborhood-health models that relied on single-point-in-time measures of neighborhood context fail to account for possible heterogeneous histories within groups who may share similar characteristics at a given point in time. Ignoring the dynamic nature of these factors may lead to the underestimation of their importance in explaining health and racial health disparities. In this study, I use longitudinal data to investigate the relationship between neighborhood poverty and respondent-rated health, focusing on whether the addition of a temporal dimension reveals: 1) a stronger relationship between neighborhood poverty and health, and 2) a greater explanatory power for the health gap between Blacks and Whites. Results indicate that long-term neighborhood measures are stronger predictors of health outcomes and explain a greater amount of the Black/White health gap than single-point measures.

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Presented in Session 162: Neighborhood Effects on Health