Residential Segregation, Quality of Life, and Mental Health

Authors: Donghee Koh*, University of Tennessee
Topics: Geography and Urban Health
Keywords: quality of life, racial segregation, mental health, neighborhood effects, Los Angeles County
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Committee Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The primary purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between racial segregation, quality of life, and their influences on mental health outcomes in Los Angeles County, California. Employing factor analysis, segregation typology, and multinomial logistic regression, this study aims to: 1) analyze geographic distribution patterns of quality of life; 2) examine racial/ethnic segregation patterns; and 3) investigate which racial/ethnic groups are most heavily disadvantaged by low quality of life and its influences on their mental health outcomes. Results, in general, indicate that neighborhoods with better quality of life were characterized by high material wealth, more greenness, and less crowdedness, thus showing better mental health outcomes. Spatially, those neighborhoods were mostly located in outer suburban areas with significant presence of the white majority. On the contrary, the neighborhoods with low quality of life were characterized by low material wealth, low environmental quality, and higher density level, hence contributing to negative mental health outcomes. Most of these neighborhoods had a significantly higher concentration of racial/ethnic minorities. By and large, the results from this study confirm that Los Angeles County is still strongly segregated along the line of race and ethnicity, and the negative consequences of racial segregation on mental health – low quality of life – fall more heavily on minority groups.

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