Individual socioeconomic position, neighbourhood disadvantage and mental well-being: a cross-sectional multilevel analysis of mid-age adults

Emily M. Mann, Kristiann C. Heesch, Jerome N. Rachele, Nicola W. Burton, Gavin Turrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Socioeconomic disadvantage is associated with mental illness, yet its relationship with mental well-being is unclear. Mental well-being is defined as feeling good and functioning well. Benefits of mental well-being include reduced mortality, improved immune functioning and pain tolerance, and increased physical function, pro-social behaviour, and academic and job performance. This study aims to explore the relationship between individual socioeconomic position (SEP), neighbourhood disadvantage and mental well-being in mid-age adults. Methods: Multilevel modelling was used to analyse data collected from 7866 participants from the second (2009) wave of HABITAT (How Areas in Brisbane Influence healTh and activiTy), a longitudinal study (2007–2018) of adults aged 40–65 years living in Brisbane, Australia. Mental well-being was measured using the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (WEMWBS). Exposure measures were education, occupation, household income, and neighbourhood socioeconomic disadvantage. Results: The lowest MWB scores were observed for the least educated (β = − 1.22, 95%CI = − 1.74, − 0.71), those permanently unable to work (β = − 5.50, 95%CI = − 6.90, − 4.10), the unemployed (β = − 2.62, 95%CI = − 4.12, − 1.13), and members of low-income households (β = − 3.77, 95%CI = − 4.59, − 2.94). Residents of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods had lower MWB scores than those living in the least disadvantaged neighbourhoods, after adjustment for individual-level SEP (β = − 0.96, 95%CI = − 1.66, − 0.28). Conclusions: Both individual-level SEP and neighbourhood disadvantage are associated with mental well-being although the association is stronger for individual-level SEP. This research highlights the need to address individual and neighbourhood-level socioeconomic determinants of mental well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Article number494
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

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