Inter-Relationships Between Objective and Subjective Measures of the Residential Environment Among Urban African American Women
Annals of Epidemiology
Purpose:The inter-relationships between objective (census based) and subjective (resident reported) measures of the residential environment is understudied in African American (AA) populations. Methods: Using data from the Life Influences on Fetal Environments Study (2009–2011; n = 1387) of AA women, we quantified the area-level variation in subjective reports of residential healthy food availability, walkability, safety, and disorder that can be accounted for with an objective neighborhood disadvantage index (NDI). Two-level generalized linear models estimated associations between objective and subjective measures of the residential environment, accounting for individual-level covariates. Results: In unconditional models, intraclass correlation coefficients for block-group variance in subjective reports ranged from 11% (healthy food availability) to 30% (safety). Models accounting for the NDI (vs. both NDI and individual-level covariates) accounted for more variance in healthy food availability (23% vs. 8%) and social disorder (40% vs. 38%). The NDI and individual-level variables accounted for 39% and 51% of the area-level variation in walkability and safety, respectively. Associations between subjective and objective measures of the residential environment were significant and in the expected direction. Conclusions: Future studies on neighborhood effects on health, especially among AAs, should include a wide range of residential environment measures, including subjective, objective, and spatial contextual variables.
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Sealy–Jefferson S., Messer L., Slaughter-Acey J., Misra D.P. 2017. Inter-relationships between objective and subjective measures of the residential environment among urban African American women. Annals of Epidemiology, 27(3):164-168.