Creating a Neighborhood Organization Scale: Predicting Self-Reported Health Status from Interviewer Observations

Rachael Walsh, U.S. Census Bureau

Data collection agencies are finding it increasingly difficult to gain respondent cooperation and are seeking out new ways to enhance efficiency. Interviewer observations could capture neighborhood contextual influences on health when conventional means of data collection fail. Using data from the 2012 Survey of Income and Program Participation-Event History Calendar (SIPP-EHC), this research examines the relationship between interviewer observations of the neighborhood in which the sample unit is located and self-reported health status. Based on the neighborhood organization contextual effects on health in the emerging literature, a series of interviewer observations generates a neighborhood organization scale attempting to predict self-reported health status. The scale mediates for some of the race effects, and is statistically significant predictor in the models, altering the prediction of self-reported health status. However, the neighborhood organization scale only explained an additional 1% of the variance in self-reported health status.

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Presented in Poster Session 7