on cross-disciplinary global disability research.
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together expertise on global health issues from all faculties within
Contact: Sarah Ball, Tel: (internal x82 72 2352)
2012 Seminar Series
Title: ‘An investigation into the associations between mental health and the physical environment’
Speaker: Ms Jemima Stockton
Date & Time: Friday 13th January 1pm-2pm
Venue: G37 & G38
Over the last 50 years, the United Kingdom has seen rapid urbanisation, whereby natural environments are displaced by built environments, including transport infrastructure. This has changed individuals’ interactions with, and experiences of, their local environments. The aim of this research is to understand the impact on mental health by studying associations between individuals’ mental health – as assessed by the General Health Questionnaire – and physical environments. The UK study populations used are the 2004/5 wave of Whitehall II and the 2008 Health Survey for England, identifiable to postcode and local authority level respectively. Measures of land use, indicators of health-related environmental quality and perceptions of environmental quality have been drawn from existing datasets and attached at the lowest possible geographies to the study populations. Preliminary analysis has revealed a significant positive association between poor mental health in HSE 2008 and a lower composite environmental quality score (OR=1.16) after controlling for individual-level variables. Percentage of greenspace within the local authority is not significantly associated with poor mental health but individuals living in local authorities where a higher percentage of survey respondents reported they were "very or fairly satisfied with parks and open spaces" have significantly lower odds of poor mental health (OR=0.82).
Prior to starting her PhD research under the supervision of Dr Nicola Shelton, Dr Eric Brunner, Dr Manos Stamatakis and Dr Oliver Duke-Williams, Jemima completed an MSc in Microbiology and worked for 3 and a half years as a research assistant on the genetic regulation of immune responses in Gambian infants. She was then employed as a teaching assistant in a primary school whilst studying for an MSc in Sustainable Development by distance learning.
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