Neighborhood violence and health: The mediating role of loneliness among two ethnic groups in Israel

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Neighborhood violence is associated with poor health, but the mechanisms explaining this association are still unknown. This study seeks to examine the role of loneliness as a mediator of the association between neighborhood violence and health among two ethnic groups (Arabs and Jews) in Israel. A representative survey was conducted among adult residents (1903 Arabs and 2726 Jews) of four Israeli towns: two Arab towns, one Jewish town and one mixed town. A stratified sample of households by residential area, age and sex, was selected in each town. Mediation models were tested using Hayes' PROCESS procedure. Traffic violations, juvenile delinquency and vandalism were reported by more than 50% of Arab residents, relative to about 25-30% of Jewish residents. Loneliness mediated the association between neighborhood violence and health, with a full serial mediation for mental health and a partial serial mediation for physical health. Findings indicate that Arab towns are characterized by severe neighborhood violence. The association between neighborhood violence and physical health was fully dependent on the mediators among both ethnic groups. Future studies should use prospective designs with objective measures of health and violence to validate our cross-sectional findings.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdaac028
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


  • ethnic
  • neighborhood
  • psychology
  • self-rated health
  • violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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