Inequalities in health and wellbeing in later life: does neighbourhood matter?

Inequalities in health and wellbeing in later life: does neighbourhood matter?
Speaker: Alan Marshall # University of Edinburgh
Hosted by
Introduced by
Date and Time
23rd Nov 2018 15:00 - 23rd Nov 2018 16:30
Seminar Room 4, Chrystal Macmillan Building

An ‘area health effect’ refers to the notion that health outcomes are influenced not only by an individual’s circumstances and choices but also by a wide range of neighbourhood characteristics. These characteristics are varied and include the quality of the built environment, the local distribution and level of income, walkability, crime (or the perception of), strength and quality of local social networks and the nature and quality of food on sale from outlets. All these aspects of neighbourhood are proposed as routes through which area health effects might operate. Such ideas are long-standing and have proved seductive to policy makers concerned with tackling health (and other) inequalities with a raft of government policies implicitly drawing on the area health effects literature in their attempts to reduce health inequality. At the same time strong criticisms of quantitative studies of area health effects, both theoretical and methodological, have emerged in the literature that remain unresolved and that have led to an observation that the field of research stands at an important crossroads.

In this seminar hosted jointly with the department of Social Policy Q-Step Director Alan Marshall will present findings from his research, in which he attempts to engage with these criticisms through a longitudinal analysis of a rich data source on the health and circumstances of older people, the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). A special version of ELSA with fine geographical detail is linked to data on neighbourhoods and broader measures of area disadvantage including both objective and subjective indicators in order to examine potential pathways through which area health effects might operate. The key aim of the presentation will be to consider the extent to which local neighbourhood conditions influence health (and health-related) outcomes in later life and the extent to which longitudinal data provide more convincing evidence for area health effects.

This seminar will take place on 23rd November from 15.00 - 16.30 in Seminar Room 4 of the Chrystal Macmillan Building. Alan's talk will be followed by questions and a reception.

Three students looking at laptops