The researchers found that the chance to move to less-distressed neighborhoods—while having no long-term effects on economic self-sufficiency—had a large impact on physical health and a statistically significant effect on mental health. The improvement was equal to the level of life satisfaction of someone whose annual income was $13,000 more. “Our results suggest that living in distressed neighborhoods has more important adverse impacts, and escaping from such neighborhoods has more important positive effects, on the well-being of low-income adults than was revealed by previous [studies] that focused on traditional measures of socioeconomic and health outcomes,” the researchers said. An abstract of the study is posted here. For more about the link between poverty and mental illness, see Psychiatric Services.
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