Health Promotion Journal of Australia Health Promotion Journal of Australia Society
Journal of the Australian Health Promotion Association
RESEARCH FRONT

Neighbourhood influences on mental health in master planned estates: a qualitative study of resident perspectives

Jacinta Francis A C , Billie Giles-Corti B , Lisa Wood A and Matthew Knuiman A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Centre for the Built Environment and Health, School of Population Health, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.

B McCaughy Centre, School of Population Health, Level 5, 207 Bouverie Street, University of Melbourne, Vic. 3010, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: jacinta.francis@uwa.edu.au

Health Promotion Journal of Australia 25(3) 186-192 https://doi.org/10.1071/HE14036
Submitted: 21 May 2014  Accepted: 11 September 2014   Published: 5 December 2014

Abstract

Issues Addressed: Neighbourhood characteristics have been linked to a range of health outcomes, including mental health. Despite the growth of master planned estates (MPEs) within Australia, few studies have investigated the physical and social correlates of mental health in residents of new housing developments.

Methods: This study aimed to identify the facilitators of, and barriers to, mentally healthy neighbourhoods using focus groups with residents of MPEs in metropolitan Perth, Western Australia. Focus group interviews were analysed using qualitative research software package QSR NVivo.

Results and Conclusions: Results suggest that mental health is strongly influenced by a sense of community and security, as well as an aesthetically pleasing environment. Residents of MPEs may experience a strong sense of community due to similarities in life-stage and the community building efforts of property developers. Expanding population size, social exclusion, and insufficient services may negatively affect the mental health of residents in MPEs.

So what?: Identifying correlates of mentally healthy neighbourhoods may help urban planners design residential areas that promote healthy living.


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