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The interactive effects of housing and neighbourhood quality on psychological well-being


Background Many individuals are subject to the physically and mentally detrimental effects of living in substandard housing and inadequate neighbourhoods. We propose that better physical neighbourhood quality can partially offset some of the negative effects of poor housing quality on psychological well-being.

Methods Interviews and questionnaires were used to collect data in a cross-sectional study of housing quality, the state of the surrounding environment, and individual health and well-being for 5605 European adults from the Large Analysis and Review of European housing and health Status conducted by WHO in eight European cities. Multilevel random coefficient modelling was used to statistically analyse the main and interactive effects of housing quality and neighbourhood quality on psychological well-being. Socioeconomic status, employment status, gender and marital status were included as statistical controls.

Results and conclusions Substandard housing quality and poor neighbourhood quality each contribute to lower psychological well-being. Furthermore better neighbourhood quality buffers against the negative effects of poor housing quality on psychological well-being. These results fill a gap in research concerning the ability of neighbourhood quality to amplify or attenuate housing quality impacts on well-being.


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