Dissertation Research

Jack's dissertation research evaluated associations between individual and neighborhood level risk factors and the presence of health disparities in a diverse urban county. Relatively little research has attempted to disentangle the interactive associations between individual characteristics and neighborhood conditions that often underly health outcomes and disparities. To address this, Jack sampled residents of DeKalb County, GA and matched their home address to one of the 115 census tracts in the county. Multilevel analyses were then used to investigate whether associations between individual characteristics (e.g. income, education, minority status) and individual level health outcomes depended upon the neighborhood environment (e.g. overall neighborhood socio-economic status, social environment, built environment) in which a resident lives and whether individual level differences in residents' perception of their neighborhood were associated with individual health outcomes. Results of this study further scientific understanding of the role of neighborhood processes in health disparities and potentially help inform the development of programs and policies related to neighborhood conditions and health disparities.