The Health Implications of Contextual Exposure: The Third Way Between Residential Neighborhood and Activity Space

Tse-Chuan Yang, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Lei Lei

Research on neighborhood effect on health has increasingly paid attention to the potential influence of activity space, which assumes that individuals conduct daily activities outside residential neighborhoods. Little is known about whether this assumption undermines our understanding of how context matters and even less is about whether neighborhood effect varies by individual activity space experience. Using a unique dataset collected in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, we identify four types of activity space experience, namely incongruent residents, congruous residents, stayers, and mislaid residents. The preliminary findings suggest that (1) approximately 15 percent of respondents do not have an activity space, (2) individual characteristics are strongly associated with activity space experience, such as education, poverty, and nativity, and (3) the effect of residential neighborhood disadvantage on health is most profound among incongruent residents and congruous residents enjoy the beneficial effect of social capital on health most.

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 Presented in Session 26. Flash Session: Neighborhood Processes in Health