Today, with colleagues from the Longitudinal Studies Centre Scotland at Edinburgh University, we have published a study
which found that being in the Guides or Scouts as a child seems to protect your mental health long into adulthood. Those who were in the Guides or Scouts were about 18% less likely to have a mood or anxiety disorder at age 50, than those who were not. This protective link seems especially strong for children who grew up in less advantaged households, so much so that the usual ‘gap’ in mental health between those from richer and poorer backgrounds does not exist among those who were Scouts or Guides. Continue reading Being a Scout or Guide protects mental health and narrows inequalities in later life
We’ve just published a journal article that assesses the links between difficult life events, residential moves and spatial inequalities in mental health in the UK.
We find that people that move following difficult life events, such as relationship breakdown and eviction, have poor mental health and distinctive patterns of mobility.
Difficult life events appear to both harm mental health and residential opportunities, increasing the likelihood that people with poor mental health will live in socio-economically deprived neighbourhoods. Moves related to difficult life events could reinforce socioeconomic inequalities in health between areas by concentrating people with poor health in disadvantaged areas.
By Helena Tunstall
It is well known that people living in neighbourhoods with poorer quality physical environments tend to have worse health than those living in better quality environments. For example, those in areas with higher levels of air pollution have greater risk of death from respiratory and cardiovascular disease. However, the vast majority of these studies do not consider the possibility that patterns of residential moves may concentrate people with poorer health in certain types of environments. This is important because it is feasible that the links between the environment and health may, at least partially, be explained by the migration of people with poorer health to poor quality environments. Continue reading Are people in poor health more likely to move to poorer quality physical environments?