Neighborhood urban form, social environment, and depression

J Urban Health. 2012 Feb;89(1):1-18. doi: 10.1007/s11524-011-9621-2.


We examined whether neighborhood urban form, along with the social environment, was associated with depressive symptoms in a sample of Miami residents. Using a validated measure of depressive symptoms, we found that living in neighborhoods with higher housing density was associated with fewer symptoms. A larger acreage of green spaces was also linked to fewer depressive symptoms but did not reach significance in the full model. Our results suggest that how residents use the environment matters. Living in neighborhoods with a higher density of auto commuters relative to land area, an indicator of chronic noise exposure, was associated with more symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Social Environment*
  • Urban Population*