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The association of neighbourhood psychosocial stressors and self-rated health in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Charles Agyemang1,2,
  2. Carolien van Hooijdonk1,
  3. Wanda Wendel-Vos1,
  4. Ellen Lindeman3,
  5. Karien Stronks2,
  6. Mariël Droomers1
  1. 1
    Centre for Prevention and Health Services Research; National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands
  2. 2
    Department of Social Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  3. 3
    Dienst Onderzoek en Statistiek (O+S), Department of Research and Statistics, City of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Dr Charles Agyemang, Department of Social Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands; c.o.agyemang{at}amc.uva.nl

Abstract

Objective: To investigate associations between neighbourhood-level psychosocial stressors (i.e. experience of crime, nuisance from neighbours, drug misuse, youngsters frequently hanging around, rubbish on the streets, feeling unsafe and dissatisfaction with the quality of green space) and self-rated health in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Participants: A random sample of 2914 subjects aged ⩾ 18 years from 75 neighbourhoods in the city of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Design: Individual data from the Social State of Amsterdam Survey 2004 were linked to data on neighbourhood-level attributes from the Amsterdam Living and Security Survey 2003. Multilevel logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios and neighbourhood-level variance.

Results: Fair to poor self-rated health was significantly associated with neighbourhood-level psychosocial stressors: nuisance from neighbours, drug misuse, youngsters frequently hanging around, rubbish on the streets, feeling unsafe and dissatisfaction with green space. In addition, when all the neighbourhood-level psychosocial stressors were combined, individuals from neighbourhoods with a high score of psychosocial stressors were more likely than those from neighbourhoods with a low score to report fair to poor health. These associations remained after adjustments for individual-level factors (i.e. age, sex, educational level, income and ethnicity). The neighbourhood-level variance showed significant differences in self-rated health between neighbourhoods independent of individual-level demographic and socioeconomic factors.

Conclusion: Our findings show that neighbourhood-level psychosocial stressors are associated with self-rated health. Strategies that target these factors might prove a promising way to improve public health.

  • self-rated health
  • neighbourhood psychosocial stressor
  • multilevel
  • the Netherlands

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None declared.

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