Putting Gender in Context: Gender Differences in Neighborhood Influences on Health

Jennifer A. Ailshire, University of Southern California
Jeffrey D. Morenoff, University of Michigan

We examine gender differences in exposure and susceptibility to hazardous neighborhood conditions. We utilize a unique data source, the Chicago Community Adult Health Survey, which combines information on adult health with a rich set of neighborhood measures. Using multilevel regression, we determine if: 1) women live in worse neighborhood conditions compared to men; 2) there are gender differences in the influence of socioeconomic disadvantage on body mass index; and 3) the influence of neighborhood psychosocial stressors on anxiety differs by gender. We found that, compared to men, women lived in more disadvantaged and stressful neighborhoods. In addition, neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage was positively related to BMI among women, but not men, and neighborhood stressors were more strongly related to anxiety among women. These results suggest that neighborhoods matter differently for men and women. Next steps include using decomposition models to differentiate between gender differences attributable to exposure and susceptibility.

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Presented in Session 63: Gender Disparities in Health and Mortality