Local Crime and psychological distress in Scotland: a multilevel record-linkage study

Baranyi, G., Pearce, J., Dibben, C., Curtis, S. (2018) 28 (suppl_4)1 November 2018. [SLS]

Other information: Background: Although there is an increasing amount of research on the effect of residential neighbourhoods on mental health, the causal pathways through which place influences health are not well understood. The aim of this study is to investigate whether local crime is associated with psychological distress and how area deprivation influences this relationship. Methods: We draw data from the Scottish Longitudinal Study, a census- based nationally representative 5.3% sample of the Scottish population. We included anonymized data for over 150,000 individual adults in our analysis. The primary outcomes were self-reported mental health condition (2011 Census), as well as prescriptions for antidepressant and anxiolytics medications between 2009 and 2015 (NHS Scotland). Individual data were linked with data on levels of crime and Carstairs Deprivation Index for the person’s place of residence in 2011. Crime was ranked in quintiles for data zones (populations of 500-1000 per zone). Multilevel logistic regression models were applied to estimate the effect of local crime at data zone level. Results: Compared to the lowest crime neighbourhoods, increasing crime rates were strongly associated with all measures of psychological distress, even after controlling for individual characteristics in the model. When models were further adjusted for area level deprivation, the effect of crime decreased, but remained significant for reported mental health and antidepressant medication in the higher crime quintiles (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Local crime level in the neighbourhood is associated with self- reported mental illness and with prescriptions for common mental disorders. It may act as a ‘wider determinant’ of mental distress, independently of economic poverty and it may also

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Output from project: 2015_015


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