The Community Context of Well Being: A Longitudinal Study of Social Mechanisms and Neighborhood Processes

Award Year:
Robert Sampson
Neighborhood Health, Social Determinants of Health
Medical care in the United States tends to focus on individuals, while our public health system (local, county, state, national) focuses on the health of various populations. After more than a decade of studying human development at the community level, Robert J. Sampson, Ph.D. turns his attention to the neighborhood foundations of well-being and the geographic concentration of compromised health. His Investigator Award project, The Community Context of Well-Being: A Longitudinal Study of Social Mechanisms and Neighborhood Processes, explores social aspects of neighborhood life that relate to health, such as cohesion, informal social controls, spatial diffusion of network ties, leadership connectivity, and moral cynicism, among others. The project links several sets of original data to study social mechanisms and institutional processes as they change over time across Chicago neighborhoods. By identifying these mechanisms, Dr. Sampson aims to better understand how and why communities matter for health and to develop advanced methods of monitoring community health and well-being that can be used to inform the design of more effective and localized interventions.