Clarifying the relationships between health and residential mobility

Larson, Ann, Bell, Martin and Young, Anne Frances (2004) Clarifying the relationships between health and residential mobility. Social Science and Medicine, 59 10: 2149-2160. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.03.015

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Author Larson, Ann
Bell, Martin
Young, Anne Frances
Title Clarifying the relationships between health and residential mobility
Journal name Social Science and Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0277-9536
Publication date 2004-11-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.03.015
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 59
Issue 10
Start page 2149
End page 2160
Total pages 12
Place of publication Oxford
Publisher Elsevier Ltd
Collection year 2004
Language eng
Subject 370500 Demography
370502 Migration
780107 Studies in human society
Abstract Health-selective migration within countries has been implicated as one of the mechanisms by which spatial disadvantage is created and maintained. However, there is conflicting evidence on the nature of the relationship between health and mobility, caused in part by diverse definitions, and age and sex differences. This paper uses the first two waves of data for the middle-aged cohort (aged 45-50 in 1996) of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health to investigate the relationship between four sets of health variables with subsequent local moves (within the same postcode), longer distance moves (between postcodes) and inter-regional migration from rural and remote areas 'up' the urban hierarchy. After adjusting for socio-economic and marital status, short and longer distance mobility among these middle-aged Australian women was positively associated with long-term and chronic poor health and being a smoker. Moves between postcodes and rural-to-urban migration were positively associated with multiple recent visits to a medical specialist. Our findings are consistent with UK and US studies that have found mobility to be more strongly associated with poor health than good health in mature adults. As the population ages, the health of receiving areas may be adversely affected by relatively unhealthy in-migrants seeking amenities not provided in their former place of residence.
Keyword health
residential mobility
rural-urban migration
Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health
Q-Index Code C1
Additional Notes This is an author version of an article originally published as Larson, Ann and Bell, Martin and Young, Anne Frances (2004) Clarifying the relationships between health and residential mobility. Social Science and Medicine 54(10):2149-2160. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.03.015 Copyright 2004 Elsevier. All rights reserved. Single copies only may be downloaded and printed for a user's personal research and study. First output of an initiative to establish the interactions between health and mobility in Australia. Although investigated widely in the UK, it remains unclear how mobility impacts on spatial variations in health and mortality. The key advance is a structured breakdown of both types of health status/event, and types of move. Manjor implications for future health provision in remote areas. Joint paper with Ann larson and Anne Young - my contribution, mainly context, literature, conceptual and interpretative. Ann larson did the stats; Anne Young read the drafts.

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