Background: Residential segregation can foster health inequality mechanisms by increasing stress related to neighborhood violence and disorder. Aims: We studied the association between neighborhood violence and disorder and inequalities in anxiety between two groups of perinatal Israeli women (Jewish, Palestinian-Arab) living in ethno-nationally segregated neighborhoods, and explored the influence of neighborhood characteristics; social support and chronic stress to this inequality. Methods: We linked survey data on neighborhood violence and disorder, neighborhood social characteristics (collective efficacy, social capital and social support) and aggregate discrimination to neighborhood SES census data. The survey data was obtained from the “Family Relations, Violence and Health” study (2014–2015) and included a stratified national sample of women (Palestinian-Arab = 436, Jewish = 965) residing in 63 segregated neighborhoods. We conducted multi-variable logistic regression analysis for anxiety (measured based on State-trait Anxiety Inventory) using generalized estimating equation (GEE) to estimate odds ratios of the association with neighborhood violence and disorder (total score for 10 problems) while considering neighborhood characteristics (SES; social characteristics; aggregate discrimination), social support and chronic stress in different models for the total sample, and separately for Palestinian-Arab and Jewish women. Results: Palestinian-Arab women had higher anxiety (60.5% vs. 42.1%, respectively) and higher severity of neighborhood violence and disorder (49.5% vs. 16.2%, respectively) compared to Jewish women. After considering individual and neighborhood variables, adjusted odds ratio (AOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) = 1.63, 1.04–2.56. The association between neighborhood violence and disorder and anxiety was significant for low vs. no problems in the final model for the total sample (AOR, 95%CI = 1.28, 1.00–1.64). Similarly, significant association was found only for low severity vs. no problems for Jewish women (1.40, 1.07–1.86). While among Palestinian-Arab women the association between neighborhood violence and disorder and anxiety rendered insignificant in the final model. Neighborhood social cohesion and social support were protective factors from anxiety in both groups, high neighborhood SES was protective factor only among Jewish women, and neighborhood aggregate discrimination was a risk factor only in Palestinian-Arab women. Conclusions: Inequalities in anxiety related to neighborhood violence and disorder in ethno-national perinatal groups of women likely reflect residential segregation. Policies entrenching segregation might have affected neighborhood mechanisms (SES inequalities, aggregate discrimination and low social cohesion) that lead to higher stress and ethno-national inequalities in anxiety among perinatal women.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was not funded. The original study was funded by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant 881/13). The funders had no role in the study.
© 2020, The Author(s).
- Collective efficacy
- Mental health
- Neighborhood violence and disorder
- Residential segregation
- Socioeconomic status
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health