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Am J Public Health. 2003 Sep;93(9):1576-82.

Moving to opportunity: an experimental study of neighborhood effects on mental health.

Author information

  • 1National Center for Children and Families, Columbia University, 525 W. 120th Street, Box 39, New York, NY 10027, USA. tl91@columbia.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The health consequences of neighborhood poverty are a public health problem. Data were obtained to examine links between neighborhood residence and mental health outcomes.

METHODS:

Moving to Opportunity was a randomized, controlled trial in which families from public housing in high-poverty neighborhoods were moved into private housing in near-poor or nonpoor neighborhoods, with a subset remaining in public housing. At the 3-year follow-up of the New York site, 550 families were reinterviewed.

RESULTS:

Parents who moved to low-poverty neighborhoods reported significantly less distress than parents who remained in high-poverty neighborhoods. Boys who moved to less poor neighborhoods reported significantly fewer anxious/depressive and dependency problems than did boys who stayed in public housing.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study provides experimental evidence of neighborhood income effects on mental health.

PMID:
12948983
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1448013
Free PMC Article
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