The relative influence of neighbourhood incivilities, cognitive social capital, club membership and individual characteristics on positive mental health

Jones, R. and Heim, Derek and Hunter, Simon C. and Ellaway, A. (2014) The relative influence of neighbourhood incivilities, cognitive social capital, club membership and individual characteristics on positive mental health. Health and Place, 18. pp. 187-193. ISSN 1353-8292

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    Abstract

    Previous research indicates that residents’ perceptions of their neighbourhoods can have an adverse influence on their health and wellbeing over and above the influence of structural disadvantage. Contrary to most prior research, this study employed an indicator of positive wellbeing and assessed the impact of individual characteristics, perceived social and environmental incivilities, indicators of cognitive and structural social capital, and perceived safety. Analyses of data from a large regional UK representative study (n=8237; 69.64% response rate), obtained using computer assisted software in the respondents’ own homes, found the most influential determinants of wellbeing were physical health problems, age, SES and cognitive social capital. This suggests that the promotion of positive mental health within communities may benefit from efforts to foster a greater sense of belonging among residents. Environmental and social incivilities also appear to play a role in shaping wellbeing, thus interventions to improve local environments can help to play a part.