The stress process in neighborhood context

Health Place. 2000 Dec;6(4):287-99. doi: 10.1016/s1353-8292(00)00010-1.


The positive relation between socio-economic status (SES) and health, both mental and physical, is examined within a stress-process framework. Telephone survey data of adults age 45-74 are analyzed to test the roles of stressors and resources as mediators of the SES-health relation. Next, the stress process is tested in neighborhood context by splitting the sample in half according to residence in lower- or higher-SES neighborhoods. The relative impact of stressors on mental and physical health, and effectiveness of resources in protecting mental and physical health, are tested separately for both types of neighborhoods. The results indicate that social support is only protective of mental and physical health among residents of higher-SES neighborhoods. The implications of the results for future research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Health Resources
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Nevada / epidemiology
  • Poverty Areas*
  • Small-Area Analysis
  • Social Support*
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Telephone