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Soc Sci Med. 1993 Sep;37(6):725-33.

Do places matter? A multi-level analysis of regional variations in health-related behaviour in Britain.

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Department of Geography, University of Portsmouth, England.


A number of commentators have argued that there is a distinctive geography of health-related behaviour. Behaviour has to be understood not only in terms of individual characteristics, but also in relation to local cultures. Places matter, and the context in which behaviour takes place is crucial for understanding and policy. Previous empirical research has been unable to operationalize these ideas and take simultaneous account of both individual compositional and aggregate contextual factors. The present paper addresses this shortcoming through a multi-level analysis of smoking and drinking behaviours recorded in a large-scale national survey. It suggests that place, expressed as regional differences, may be less important than previously implied.

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