The relationship of community quality to the health of women and men

Soc Sci Med. 1998 Oct;47(8):1113-20. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(98)00114-2.


Using a 1996 community survey of behavioral risk factors, this cross-sectional study of 804 residents in a rural community examines the relationship of community quality to the health status of women and men. We use two categories of community factors to assess community quality: measures of the social quality of community life, and measures of community quality that focus on the physical environment. Health status is assessed by four measures that examine perceived health status and functioning. Regression results indicate that there is a significant relationship between the quality of the community and health status for both women and men. Specifically, women's perceptions about the social quality of their community are positively associated with their perceived health status and functioning; furthermore, these relationships are significantly different from those of men. Men's perceptions of their physical environment are significantly related to their reported functioning and health, to a limited extent these relationships are different from women. These relationships support our hypothesis that gender differentially affects the relationship between community quality and health.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Northwestern United States
  • Preventive Health Services
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Sex Factors