Self-Rated Health and Residential Segregation: Does Well-Being Vary by the Predominant Racial/Ethnic Group in a Neighborhood?

Joseph Gibbons, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)

Existing research is inconclusive as to whether residential segregation has adverse effects on the health of minorities. Some found that racial segregation is related to poor health outcomes, whereas others reported that racial segregation is beneficial to health, particularly for minorities. To address this disagreement, we utilize individual health data from the 2010 Philadelphia Health Management Corporation's Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey and census tract data from the 2010 Decennial Census and the 2006-2010 American Community Survey. We implement logistic multilevel models in HLM 7 to determine as to whether a resident's self-rated health is affected by the racial/ethnic segregation of their neighborhood. We find that whether segregation affects an individual’s self-rated health depends on an individual’s race/ethnicity, with blacks and Latino residents most likely to experience adverse effects. In particular, minorities living in predominantly white communities actually have worse health outcomes than they would in segregated minority neighborhoods.

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Presented in Session 186: Contextual Approaches to Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities