Due to its negative impact on public health, female circumcision (FC) has gained increased attention from international communities and the Norwegian public in recent decades. In 1995, the Norwegian government outlawed the practice and simultaneously developed a package of measures aimed at preventing and ultimately eradicating FC in Norway. Like many other Western countries, immigrants of Somali descent constitute the largest immigrant group in Norway from countries with FC traditions. Although this immigrant group is often perceived as a cultural society that supports FC generally as a practice, there appears to be a lack of studies that explore the impact of acculturation and the Western social context on Somali immigrants’ attitudes toward the practice. Against this background, this paper explores the attitudes of Somalis living in Oslo, Norway to the practice of FC. Findings from this qualitative study indicate that Somalis in Oslo have, to a large extent, changed their attitude toward the practice. This was proven by the presence in Oslo of a large number of Somali parents who left their daughters uncut as well as Somali girls, boys, men, and women who attribute being uncircumcised a high status. This study adds to the knowledge of the process of abandonment of FC among immigrants in the Western countries. The study highlights the success that has been achieved in improving attitudes toward the practice of the Somali community in Oslo, Norway, as well as emerging challenges that need to be addressed further.
female circumcision; attitude; behavior; immigrants; Somalis
The civil war in Somalia resulted in massive resettlement of Somali refugees. The largest diaspora of Somali refugees in the United States currently reside in Minnesota. Partnering with three community organizations in 2007–8, we implemented the Community Connections and Collaboration Project to address health disparities that Somali refugees experienced. Specifically, we examined factors that influenced Somali women’s health experiences. Utilizing a socio-ecological perspective and a social action research design, we conducted six community-based focus groups with 57 Somali women and interviewed 11 key informants including Somali healthcare professionals. Inductively coding, sorting and reducing data into categories, we analyzed each category for specific patterns. The categorical findings on healthcare experiences are reported here. We found that Somali women’s health beliefs related closely to situational factors and contrasted sharply with the biological model that drives Western medicine. These discordant health beliefs resulted in divergent expectations regarding treatment and healthcare interactions. Experiencing unmet expectations, Somali women and their healthcare providers reported multiple frustrations which often diminished perceived quality of health care. Moreover, silent worries about mental health and reproductive decision making surfaced. To provide high quality, transcultural health care, providers must encourage patients to voice their own health explanations, expectations, and worries.
USA; immigrant health; women’s health; health disparities; cultural competence; health care interactions; community-based social action research; mental health
The discourse about mental health problems among migrants and refugees tends to focus on adverse pre-migration experiences; there is less investigation of the environmental conditions in which refugee migrants live, and the contrasts between these situations in different countries. This cross-national study of two samples of Somali refugees living in London (UK) and Minneapolis, Minnesota, (USA) helps to fill a gap in the literature, and is unusual in being able to compare information collected in the same way in two cities in different countries.
There were two parts to the study, focus groups to gather in-depth qualitative data and a survey of health status and quantifiable demographic and material factors. Three of the focus groups involved nineteen Somali professionals and five groups included twenty-eight lay Somalis who were living in London and Minneapolis. The quantitative survey was done with 189 Somali respondents, also living in London and Minneapolis. We used the MINI International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) to assess ICD-10 and DSM-IV mental disorders.
The overall qualitative and quantitative results suggested that challenges to masculinity, thwarted aspirations, devalued refugee identity, unemployment, legal uncertainties and longer duration of stay in the host country account for poor psychological well-being and psychiatric disorders among this group.
The use of a mixed-methods approach in this international study was essential since the quantitative and qualitative data provide different layers and depth of meaning and complement each other to provide a fuller picture of complex and multi-faceted life situations of refugees and asylum seekers. The comparison between the UK and US suggests that greater flexibility of access to labour markets for this refugee group might help to promote opportunities for better integration and mental well-being.
This study investigates the effects of forced migration on child survival and health in Angola. Using survey data collected in Luanda, Angola, in 2004, just two years after the end of that country's prolonged civil war, we compare three groups: migrants who moved primarily due to war, migrants whose moves were not directly related to war, and non-migrants. First, we examine the differences among the three groups in under-five mortality. Using an event-history approach, we find that hazards of child death in any given year were higher in families that experienced war-related migration in the same year or in the previous year, net of other factors. To assess longer-term effects of forced migration, we examine hazards of death of children who were born in Luanda, i.e., after migrants had reached their destinations. We again observe a disadvantage of forced migrants, but this disadvantage is explained by other characteristics. When looking at the place of delivery, number of antenatal consultations, and age-adequate immunization of children born in Luanda, we again detect a disadvantage of forced migrants relative to non-migrants, but now this disadvantage also extends to migrants who came to Luanda for reasons other than war. Finally, no differences across the three groups in child morbidity and related healthcare seeking behavior in the two weeks preceding the survey are found. We interpret these results within the context of the literature on short- and long-term effects of forced migration on child health.
childhood mortality; child health; war; forced migration; sub-Saharan Africa, Angola
Does immigration from a high-prevalence area contribute to an increased risk of tuberculosis in a low-incidence country? The tuberculosis incidence in Somalia is among the highest ever registered. Due to civil war and starvation, nearly half of all Somalis have been forced from their homes, causing significant migration to low-incidence countries. In Denmark, two-thirds of all tuberculosis patients are immigrants, half from Somalia. To determine the magnitude of Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission between Somalis and Danes, we analyzed DNA fingerprint patterns of isolates collected in Denmark from 1992 to 1999, comprising >97% of all culture-positive patients (n = 3,320). Of these, 763 were Somalian immigrants, 55.2% of whom shared identical DNA fingerprint patterns; 74.9% of these were most likely infected before their arrival in Denmark, 23.3% were most likely infected in Denmark by other Somalis, and 1.8% were most likely infected by Danes. In the same period, only 0.9% of all Danish tuberculosis patients were most likely infected by Somalis. The Somalian immigrants in Denmark could be distributed into 35 different clusters with possible active transmission, of which 18 were retrieved among Somalis in the Netherlands. This indicated the existence of some internationally predominant Somalian strains causing clustering less likely to represent recent transmission. In conclusion, M. tuberculosis transmission among Somalis in Denmark is limited, and transmission between Somalis and Danes is nearly nonexistent. The higher transmission rates between nationalities found in the Netherlands do not apply to the situation in Denmark and not necessarily elsewhere, since many different factors may influence the magnitude of active transmission.
The relationship between childhood residential mobility and health in the UK is not well established; however, research elsewhere suggests that frequent childhood moves may be associated with poorer health outcomes and behaviours. The aim of this paper was to compare people in the West of Scotland who were residentially stable in childhood with those who had moved in terms of a range of health measures.
A total of 850 respondents, followed-up for a period of 20 years, were included in this analysis. Childhood residential mobility was derived from the number of addresses lived at between birth and age 18. Multilevel regression was used to investigate the relationship between childhood residential mobility and health in late adolescence (age 18) and adulthood (age 36), accounting for socio-demographic characteristics and frequency of school moves. The authors examined physical health measures, overall health, psychological distress and health behaviours.
Twenty per cent of respondents remained stable during childhood, 59% moved one to two times and 21% moved at least three times. For most health measures (except physical health), there was an increased risk of poor health that remained elevated for frequent movers after adjustment for socio-demographic characteristics and school moves (but was only significant for illegal drug use).
Risk of poor health was elevated in adolescence and adulthood with increased residential mobility in childhood, after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics and school moves. This was true for overall health, psychological distress and health behaviours, but physical health measures were not associated with childhood mobility.
Residential mobility; health; Scotland; UK; child health; deprivation; health behaviour; health status; migration
Increasingly, HIV-seropositive individuals cross international borders. HIV-related restrictions on entry, stay, and residence imposed by countries have important consequences for this mobile population. Our aim was to describe the geographical distribution of countries with travel restrictions and to examine the trends and characteristics of countries with such restrictions.
In 2011, data presented to UNAIDS were used to establish a list of countries with and without HIV restrictions on entry, stay, and residence and to describe their geographical distribution. The following indicators were investigated to describe the country characteristics: population at mid-year, international migrants as a percentage of the population, Human Development Index, estimated HIV prevalence (age: 15–49), presence of a policy prohibiting HIV screening for general employment purposes, government and civil society responses to having non-discrimination laws/regulations which specify migrants/mobile populations, government and civil society responses to having laws/regulations/policies that present obstacles to effective HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support for migrants/mobile populations, Corruption Perception Index, and gross national income per capita.
HIV-related restrictions exist in 45 out of 193 WHO countries (23%) in all regions of the world. We found that the Eastern Mediterranean and Western Pacific Regions have the highest proportions of countries with these restrictions. Our analyses showed that countries that have opted for restrictions have the following characteristics: smaller populations, higher proportions of migrants in the population, lower HIV prevalence rates, and lack of legislation protecting people living with HIV from screening for employment purposes, compared with countries without restrictions.
Countries with a high proportion of international migrants tend to have travel restrictions – a finding that is relevant to migrant populations and travel medicine providers alike. Despite international pressure to remove travel restrictions, many countries continue to implement these restrictions for HIV-positive individuals on entry and stay. Since 2010, the United States and China have engaged in high profile removals. This may be indicative of an increasing trend, facilitated by various factors, including international advocacy and the setting of a UNAIDS goal to halve the number of countries with restrictions by 2015.
HIV/AIDS; travel restrictions; restrictions on entry; stay and residence; migrants; mobility
The increasing number of people aged over 75 in Britain makes heavy demands on health and social services. To obtain accurate information for rational allocation of resources to domiciliary and residential services a group of 98 housebound women over 75 were compared with a group of 99 women of the same age in residential care. They had a similar range of physical disorders with the exception that deafness was more common among women in residential care. A much higher proportion in residential care were demented. Though in many respects women in residential care had less physical incapacity, a higher proportion needed help at times of crisis. Important social factors were that women at home were more likely to be living with others, and that the principal helper was more likely to be a husband or relative than a neighbour. Both groups received the same amount of support from home helps and community nurses. Any reduction in the number of residential care places for elderly women whose relatives are not available or are unable to cope would require the establishment of an effective community psychogeriatric service and a system for providing appropriate subjects with 24 hour care and supervision.
A small number of patient-level variables have replicated associations with the length of stay (LOS) of psychiatric inpatients. Although need for housing has often been identified as a cause of delayed discharge, there has been little research into the associations between LOS and homelessness and residential mobility (moving to a new home), or the magnitude of these associations compared to other exposures.
Cross-sectional study of 4885 acute psychiatric admissions to a mental health NHS Trust serving four South London boroughs. Data were taken from a comprehensive repository of anonymised electronic patient records. Analysis was performed using log-linear regression.
Residential mobility was associated with a 99% increase in LOS and homelessness with a 45% increase. Schizophrenia, other psychosis, the longest recent admission, residential mobility, and some items on the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS), especially ADL impairment, were also associated with increased LOS. Informal admission, drug and alcohol or other non-psychotic diagnosis and a high HoNOS self-harm score reduced LOS. Including residential mobility in the regression model produced the same increase in the variance explained as including diagnosis; only legal status was a stronger predictor.
Homelessness and, especially, residential mobility account for a significant part of variation in LOS despite affecting a minority of psychiatric inpatients; for these people, the effect on LOS is marked. Appropriate policy responses may include attempts to avert the loss of housing in association with admission, efforts to increase housing supply and the speed at which it is made available, and reforms of payment systems to encourage this.
Length of stay; Hospitals psychiatric; Mental disorders; Residential mobility; Homeless persons
Using geo-referenced data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, in conjunction with decennial census data, this research examines metropolitan-area variation in the ability of residentially mobile blacks, Hispanics, and whites to convert their income into two types of neighborhood outcomes—neighborhood racial composition and neighborhood socioeconomic status. For destination tract racial composition, we find strong and near-universal support for the “weak version” of place stratification theory; relative to whites, the effect of individual income on the percent of the destination tract population that is non-Hispanic white is stronger for blacks and Hispanics, but even the highest earning minority group members move to tracts that are “less white” than the tracts that the highest-earning whites move to. In contrast, for moves into neighborhoods characterized by higher levels of average family income, we find substantial heterogeneity across metropolitan areas in minorities’ capacity to convert income into neighborhood quality. A slight majority of metropolitan areas evince support for the “strong version” of place stratification theory, in which blacks and Hispanics are less able than whites to convert income into neighborhood socioeconomic status. However, a nontrivial number of metropolitan areas also evince support for spatial assimilation theory, where the highest-earning minorities achieve neighborhood parity with the highest-earning whites. Several metropolitan-area characteristics, including residential segregation, racial and ethnic composition, immigrant population size, poverty rates, and municipal fragmentation, emerge as significant predictors of minority-white differences in neighborhood attainment.
residential attainment; neighborhood inequality; segregation; racial stratification; ethnic stratification
During the last decade in Ontario large numbers of patients with chronic psychiatric disorders have been discharged from the mental hospitals and are now scattered throughout other psychiatric facilities. The Homes for Special Care Program offers privately run but government-funded accommodation for severely disabled patients with relatively stable and socially acceptable behaviour, who require residential or nursing care but are thought unlikely to benefit from further hospital treatment. Salient features of the program include the formal discharge of patients from hospital and their legal reinstatement as "persons", the cessation of active psychiatric treatment, and the provision of ongoing care and supervision by largely untrained personnel. Medical care is provided by general practitioners and the program looks to volunteer agencies to provide recreational and other activities for residents.
Previous studies on the impact of migration on health often face the difficulties of choosing the proper comparison group and addressing potential selection of migration. Using longitudinal data from Indonesia, this paper examines the effect of rural-urban migration on physical and psychological health, (1) by comparing the health of migrants with that of the appropriate group of comparison, people who remained in rural origins, and (2) studying health both prior to and after migration to adjust for possible selection bias. This research further explores various socioeconomic, psychosocial, and behavioral pathways mediating the migration effect. Results show that rural-urban labor migration increased the risk of psychological disorder as measured by depressive symptoms. This was largely a result of reduced social support due to family disruption, because the deleterious effect was particularly strong for migrants who moved alone and was negligible for migrants moving with family members. In contrast, migration had little impact on physical health in the medium term. This was largely attributed to the multiple offsetting influences of migration: migration improved economic status and living standards but led to increased work-related stressors and barriers to health utilization. In addition, despite earning higher income, migrants tend to underconsume and remit a large amount of earnings to original families, which hindered potential health gains from improved economic well-being.
Multiple psycho-social risk factors are common in children and adolescents in youth welfare, especially in residential care. In this survey study we assessed the prevalence of behavioral, emotional symptoms and mental disorders in a German residential care population.
20 residential care institutions including 689 children and adolescents (age 4 – 18 years; mean 14.4; SD = 2.9) participated. A two-step design was performed. First, the children and adolescents and their residential caregivers answered a standard symptom checklist (CBCL/YSR). For those participants scoring more than one standard deviation above the mean of their German population reference group, a standardized clinical examination was performed to specify an ICD-10 diagnosis.
The study population reached high average scores in almost all scales and subscales of the CBCL and YSR (mean CBCL total score T = 64.3, SD = 9.7, Median = 66.0). The prevalence of mental disorders according to the diagnostic criteria of ICD-10 was 59.9%, with a predominance of externalizing and disruptive disorders. High rates of co-morbidity were observed.
Children and adolescents in youth welfare and residential care are a neglected high risk population. Providing adequate psychiatric diagnosis and multimodal treatment for this group is necessary.
This qualitative study delineates motives for residential mobility, describes dynamics between the elder and family members during the move decision process, and locates the move decision within ecological layers of the aging context. Interviews were conducted with 30 individuals and couples (ages 60-87) who experienced a community-based move within the past year, and with 14 extended family members. Reasons for moving (from perspectives of both elders who moved and their family members) were grouped into four themes and eleven issues that influenced the move decision. These themes parallel the ecological context of individual health and functioning, beliefs and attitudes, physical environment, and social pressures. Late-life mobility is a significant life transition that is the outcome of an ongoing appraisal and reappraisal of housing fit with individual functioning, needs, and aspirations. Family members are an integral part of these decision and residential mobility processes.
Well, she moved because my sister and I decided she was going to move. But she wanted to move. It wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t decided that she was gonna move. It was a little complicated . . . - Linda Brierton’s daughter, Karen
Residential mobility is common in families with young children; however, its impact on the social development of children is unclear. We examined associations between the number, timing and type of house moves in childhood and child behaviour problems using data from an ongoing longitudinal study.
Complete data on residential mobility and child behaviour was available for 403 families. Three aspects of mobility were considered: (a) number of house moves from birth to <2 years, 2 to <5 years and 5 to 9 years; (b) lifetime number of house moves; and (c) moves associated with different housing trajectories characterized by changes in housing tenure. The primary outcomes were internalizing and externalizing behaviour problems at 9 years derived from Achenbach’s Child Behaviour Checklist. Linear regression analyses were used to investigate the effect of the housing variables on internalizing and externalizing behaviour problem scores with adjustment for a range of sociodemographic and household covariates.
Moving house ≥2 times before 2 years of age was associated with an increased internalizing behaviour score at age 9 years. This association remained after adjustment for sociodemographic and household factors. There was no association between increased residential mobility in other time periods and internalizing behaviour, or mobility in any period and externalizing behaviour. There was no effect of lifetime number of moves, or of an upwardly or downwardly mobile housing trajectory. However, a housing trajectory characterized by continuous rental occupancy was associated with an increased externalizing behaviour score.
These findings may suggest that there is a sensitive period, in the first few years of life, in which exposure to increased residential mobility has a detrimental effect on mental health in later childhood.
Residential mobility; Child behaviour; Child development; Housing; Longitudinal studies
Currently, migrants and other mobile individuals, such as migrant workers and asylum seekers, are an expanding global population of growing social, demographic and political importance. Disparities often exist between a migrant population's place of origin and its destination, particularly with relation to health determinants. The effects of those disparities can be observed at both individual and population levels. Migration across health and disease disparities influences the epidemiology of certain diseases globally and in nations receiving migrants. While specific disease-based outcomes may vary between migrant group and location, general epidemiological principles may be applied to any situation where numbers of individuals move between differences in disease prevalence. Traditionally, migration health activities have been designed for national application and lack an integrated international perspective. Present and future health challenges related to migration may be more effectively addressed through collaborative global undertakings. This paper reviews the epidemiological relationships resulting from health disparities bridged by migration and describes the growing role of migration and population mobility in global disease epidemiology. The implications for national and international health policy and program planning are presented.
Fifty of 62 applicants for residential accommodation underwent assessment at a geriatric day hospital. Twenty-five were suitable, 11 were suitable following rehabilitation and 14 were unsuitable for placement in residential accommodation. Around 35% of all applicants were not assessed. Seventy-nine per cent of assessed applicants, without dementia, either were unsure of how their application had been initiated or did not understand the implications of a move to residential accommodation. Twenty-two per cent of all applicants assessed were taking four or more drugs. To maximise the use of residential accommodation, all applicants should be assessed to reduce inappropriate referrals.
In 2005 women represented approximately half of all 190 million international migrants worldwide. This paper addresses the need to integrate a gender perspective into epidemiological studies on migration and health, outlines conceptual gaps and discusses some methodological problems. We mainly consider the international voluntary migrant. Women may emigrate as wives or as workers in a labour market in which they face double segregation, both as migrants and as women. We highlight migrant women's heightened vulnerability to situations of violence, as well as important gaps in our knowledge of the possible differential health effects of factors such as poverty, unemployment, social networks and support, discrimination, health behaviours and use of services. We provide an overview of the problems of characterising migrant populations in the health information systems, and of possible biases in the health effects caused by failure to take the triple dimension of gender, social class and ethnicity into account.
gender perspective; migrants' health; women
Individuals with co-occurring substance use and psychiatric disorders have a more severe clinical course and poorer outcomes than do individuals with one disorder. In an attempt to find intervening variables that may contribute to improvement in treatment outcomes among individuals with co-occurring disorders, we investigated the roles of social support and self-efficacy in a sample of 351 clients with co-occurring disorders in residential drug abuse treatment programs (53% male; 35% African American, 13% Hispanic). Given their demographic variability, we also explored how ethnicity and age influence self-efficacy and access to social support, as well as their relationships to the outcomes. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the impact of the demographics and baseline psychological status, substance use, social support, and self-efficacy on mental health and substance use outcomes 6 months after treatment entry. Time in treatment was included as a control. Greater social support at baseline predicted better mental health status and less heroin and cocaine use; greater self-efficacy predicted less alcohol and cocaine use. Older clients reported less social support. African-American ethnicity was associated with more cocaine use at baseline and follow-up; however, African Americans reported more self-efficacy, which moderated their cocaine use. The current study highlights the potential therapeutic importance of clients' personal resources, even among a sample of severely impaired individuals.
Co-occurring disorders; Self-efficacy; Social support; Treatment outcomes
Although men and women have similar risk factors for cardiovascular disease, many social behaviors in developing countries differ by sex. Rural-to-urban migrants have different cardiovascular risk profiles than rural or urban dwellers. The objective of this study was to evaluate the sex differences with specific cardiovascular risk factors in rural-to-urban migrants.
Methods and Results
We used the rural-to-urban migrant group of the PERU MIGRANT cross-sectional study to investigate the sex differences in specific cardiovascular risk factors: obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, as well as exposures of socioeconomic status, acculturation surrogates and behavioral characteristics. Logistic regression analysis was used to characterize strength of association between sex and our outcomes adjusting for potential confounders. The sample of migrants was 589 (mean age 46.5 years) and 52.4% were female. In the adjusted models, women were more likely to be obese (OR=5.97; 95%CI: 3.21–11) and have metabolic syndrome (OR=2.22; 95%CI: 1.39–3.55) than men, explaining the greatest variability for obesity and metabolic syndrome but not for hypertension.
Our results suggest that interventions for CVD in Peru should be sex-specific and address the unique health needs of migrant populations living in urban shantytowns since the risk factors for obesity and metabolic syndrome differ between males and females.
Female circumcision (FC) has lifelong adverse social and health consequences for women, and its abolition will not only enhance the health of children and women, but also promote gender equality. Like many other Western countries, Norway hosts a large proportion of immigrants from FC-practicing countries, though primarily from Somalia, which is the country with the highest prevalence of FC in the world. A behavioral change by the practicing communities has the best chance to successfully and sustainably eliminate this practice. However, FC prevention programs require a behavioral surveillance that monitors the process of change, with this being the first quantitative study since the major migration of the Somali community to Norway began in 1991 to investigate whether or not Somali immigrants’ attitudes toward the practice has improved in favor of its abandonment.
A cross-sectional study using a respondent-driven sampling (RDS) was conducted in Oslo from April to June of 2011. A sample of 214 persons was interviewed, using structured questionnaires.
The results show that 70% of Somalis in Oslo support the discontinuation of all forms of FC compared to 30% who support its continuation, with the latter group more likely to be people who lived in Norway ≤ 4 years. Of the 10 girls who came to Norway at the age of ≤ 7 years, only one was circumcised, though whether the circumcision occurred before or after the girl’s arrival in Norway remains unclear. The perception that FC is required by religion was the sole factor to be significantly associated with an ongoing support of FC.
The study reveals that Somalis in Oslo demonstrate a trend to abandon this practice over time. Nevertheless, the 30% of the people who still support its continuation, and who are primarily newly arrived immigrants, require a targeted intervention that is implemented in the early phase of the immigrants’ arrival.
Research on treatment outcome for addictive disorders indicates that a variety of interventions are effective. However, the progress clients make in treatment frequently is undermined by the lack of an alcohol and drug free living environment supporting sustained recovery. This introduction to a special edition on Oxford Houses suggests that treatment providers have not paid sufficient attention to the social environments where clients live after residential treatment or while attending outpatient programs. The paper begins with a description of the need for alcohol and drug free living environments. The history of communal living for recovering addicts and alcoholics is then reviewed and the Oxford House model emphasized as a recent and widespread communal living option for recovering persons. The structure and philosophy of Oxford Houses are presented along with recent outcome studies providing support for their effectiveness. Three different perspectives are presented as ways of conceptualizing how residents in Oxford Houses benefit: social context theory, self governance/self care, and peer affiliation/identification.
Oxford House; Sober Living House; Recovery Homes; Peer Helping
Findings from a prospective study of project-induced migration in China's Three Gorges Dam project are reported. The study tests the hypotheses that anticipation of involuntary migration is stressful and that the harmful effects are partially mediated and moderated by the resources migrants possess. Using data collected from a sample of designated migrants (n = 975) who will be forced to relocate because they live in an area which will be flooded once the Three Gorges project is completed, and non-migrants (n = 555) in the same region, our analysis indicates that anticipation of involuntary migration is a robust predictor of mental distress. Anticipation of forced migration elevates depression (CES-D) not only directly, but also indirectly by weakening the social and the psychological resources (i.e., social support and mastery) which safeguard the mental well-being of migrants. However, our results show much less support for the hypothesis that resources moderate harmful effects of forced migration.
China; Three Gorges; Development; Involuntary migration; Stress
In epidemiologic studies, neighborhood characteristics are often assigned to individuals based on a single residence despite the fact that people frequently move and, for most cancer outcomes, the relevant time-window of exposure is not known. The authors evaluated residential mobility patterns for a population-based series of childhood leukemia cases enrolled in the Northern California Childhood Leukemia Study.
Complete residential history from one year prior to birth to date of diagnosis was obtained for 380 cases diagnosed between 1995 and 2002. All residences were assigned U.S. Census block group designations using a geographic information system.
Overall, two-thirds (65.8%) of children had moved between birth and diagnosis, and a third (34.5%) moved during the first year of life. Approximately 25% of the mothers had moved during the year before the child's birth. Multivariable analysis indicated greater residential mobility to be associated with older age of the child at diagnosis, younger age of the mother at child's birth, and lower household income. Among those who had moved, residential urban/rural status for birth and diagnosis residences changed for about 20% of subjects, and neighborhood SES for 35%.
These results suggest that neighborhood attribute estimates in health studies should account for patterns of residential mobility. Estimates based on a single residential location at a single point in time may lead to different inferences.
Childhood leukemia; Epidemiology; Exposure classification; Residential mobility; Socioeconomic status
Throughout the world, wealth and income are becoming more concentrated. Growing evidence suggests that the distribution of income-in addition to the absolute standard of living enjoyed by the poor-is a key determinant of population health. A large gap between rich people and poor people leads to higher mortality through the breakdown of social cohesion. The recent surge in income inequality in many countries has been accompanied by a marked increase in the residential concentration of poverty and affluence. Residential segregation diminishes the opportunities for social cohesion. Income inequality has spillover effects on society at large, including increased rates of crime and violence, impeded productivity and economic growth, and the impaired functioning of representative democracy. The extent of inequality in society is often a consequence of explicit policies and public choice. Reducing income inequality offers the prospect of greater social cohesiveness and better population health.