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Social Science and Medicine

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Adaptability (Psychology), City dwellers


The causal feedback implied by urban neighborhood conditions that shape human health experiences, that in turn shape neighborhood conditions through a complex causal web, raises a challenge for traditional epidemiological causal analyses. This article introduces the loop analysis method, and builds off of a core loop model linking neighborhood property vacancy rate, resident depressive symptoms, rate of neighborhood death, and rate of neighborhood exit in a feedback network. I justify and apply loop analysis to the specific example of depressive symptoms and abandoned urban residential property to show how inquiries into the behavior of causal systems can answer different kinds of hypotheses, and thereby compliment those of causal modeling using statistical models. Neighborhood physical conditions that are only indirectly influenced by depressive symptoms may nevertheless manifest in the mental health experiences of their residents; conversely, neighborhood physical conditions may be a significant mental health risk for the population of neighborhood residents. I find that participatory greenspace programs are likely to produce adaptive responses in depressive symptoms and different neighborhood conditions, which are different in character to nonparticipatory greenspace interventions.


NOTICE: this is the author's version of a work that was accepted for publication in Social Science and Medicine. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Social Science and Medicine, [VOL 65, ISSUE 10, (2007)].



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