Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Development and validation of an instrument to measure perceived neighbourhood quality in Taiwan
  1. M-J Yang1,
  2. M-S Yang2,
  3. C-H Shih1,
  4. I Kawachi3
  1. 1Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
  2. 2School of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan
  3. 3Department of Health and Social Behavior, Harvard School of Public Health, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr I Kawachi, Department of Health and Social Behavior, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115, USA;


Study objectives: Social epidemiologists have hypothesised that neighbourhood quality may exert an important contextual influence on mental and physical health. However, validated instruments do not exist for measuring neighbourhood quality in Taiwan. A self reported instrument to measure perceived neighbourhood quality in Taiwan was developed and tested.

Design: Community survey.

Setting: Southern Taiwan, including the metropolitan Kaohsiung area and eight surrounding communities, representing urban, suburban, and rural districts.

Participants: A total of 1084 residents, aged 18 to 75, were surveyed during 1999 to 2000.

Main results: Using factor analysis with varimax rotation, three subscales explained 54.8% of the variance in our 15 item Neighbourhood Quality Index: perceived social capital (Cronbach α=0.84), perceived security (α=0.78), and adequacy of services and facilities (α=0.67). Lower perceived neighbourhood social capital (odds ratio, OR, 1.26; 95% CI: 1.21 to 1.32), lower neighbourhood security (OR 1.37; 95% CI: 1.26 to 1.48), and inadequate neighbourhood services and facilities (OR 1.17; 95% CI: 1.06 to 1.28) were all related to higher residential dissatisfaction.

Conclusions: A Neighbourhood Quality Index was developed for use in Taiwan with good internal consistency and test-retest reliability, as well as convergent validity. Future studies will examine the association between this index and measures of individual mental and physical health.

  • neighbourhood
  • community mental health
  • social capital

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Funding: the research was supported by grant (NSC 87-2413-H037-004 and NSC 89-2413-H-182–0030SSS) from National Science Council. Dr Kawachi is supported in part by the MacArthur Foundation Network on SES and Health.

  • Conflicts of interests: none.