past Project

Residential Segregation and African-American Health

Research on the health effects of residential racial segregation has engendered two opposing propositions. The first suggests that segregation is the foundation on which Black-White disparities in health status have been built, resulting from the negative effects of segregation on the social and material resources that promote health; and from the increased exposure to social and physical environments that adversely affect health. And yet, a second viewpoint holds that racial segregation can have a "protective" effect on health, by lessening the frequency of individual encounters with racism, decreasing social isolation and increasing access to social support and community resources. This pilot study investigates under what circumstances segregation acts as a negative health determinant for African Americans in New York City. For example, individuals for whom a predominantly Black neighborhood is preferable may fare better in self-reported health. This study also explores the extent to which residents in predominantly Black neighborhoods access urban space throughout New York City.