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The ethnic density effect on the health of ethnic minority people in the United Kingdom: a study of hypothesised pathways

Bécares, L.; (2009) The ethnic density effect on the health of ethnic minority people in the United Kingdom: a study of hypothesised pathways. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis contributes to our understanding of the individual and community assets available to ethnic minority people living in areas characterised by high concentrations of co-ethnics. It has been hypothesized that positive attributes found in areas of greater concentration of ethnic minority people, or ethnic density, might provide ethnic minority residents with health promoting, or protective effects. This study explored the effect of ethnic density on the health of ethnic minority people in the UK. It proposed and tested three pathways by which ethnic density is hypothesised to operate: through a change in racism-related social norms; through buffering the detrimental effects of racism on health; and through an increase in civic-political activity. Multilevel methods were applied to three nationally representative cross sectional studies, the 1999 and 2004 Health Survey for England; the Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities; and the 2005 and 2007 Citizenship Survey. Results showed a stronger ethnic density effect on psychological outcomes, as compared to that found for physical health outcomes. Effect sizes were larger when the ethnic density of specific groups was analysed, but more likely to be significant when the density of all minority groups combined was considered. Analyses conducted to test the social norms model reported a significant reduction in experienced racism among ethnic minority people living in areas of high ethnic density, as compared to their counterparts who live in areas of reduced ethnic density. Examinations of the buffering effects of ethnic density indicated a tendency for a weaker association between racism and health as ethnic density increased, although interactions were mostly non-significant. Finally, ethnic minority people were not found to report higher civic engagement as ethnic density increased, but they were found to be more satisfied with local services and to report greater community cohesion.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:The ethnic density effect on the health of ethnic minority people in the United Kingdom: a study of hypothesised pathways
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:This version does not include the appended published articles due to copyright issues
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care > Epidemiology and Public Health

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