Can you party your way to better health? A propensity score analysis of block parties and health

Lorraine T. Dean, Amy Hillier, Hang Chau-Glendinning, S. V. Subramanian, David R. Williams, Ichiro Kawachi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

While other indicators of social capital have been linked to health, the role of block parties on health in Black neighborhoods and on Black residents is understudied. Block parties exhibit several features of bonding social capital and are present in nearly 90% of Philadelphia's predominantly Black neighborhoods. This analysis investigated: (1) whether or not block parties are an indicator of bonding social capital in Black neighborhoods; (2) the degree to which block parties might be related to self-rated health in the ways that other bonding social indicators are related to health; and (3) whether or not block parties are associated with average self-rated health for Black residents particularly. Using census tract-level indicators of bonding social capital and records of block parties from 2003 to 2008 for 381 Philadelphia neighborhoods (defined by census tracts), an ecological-level propensity score was generated to assess the propensity for a block party, adjusting for population demographics, neighborhood characteristics, neighborhood resources and violent crime. Results indicate that in multivariable regression, block parties were associated with increased bonding social capital in Black neighborhoods; however, the calculation of the average effect of the treatment on the treated (ATT) within each propensity score strata showed no effect of block parties on average self-rated health for Black residents. Block parties may be an indicator of bonding social capital in Philadelphia's predominantly Black neighborhoods, but this analysis did not show a direct association between block parties and self-rated health for Black residents. Further research should consider what other health outcomes or behaviors block parties may be related to and how interventionists can leverage block parties for health promotion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-209
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume138
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Black/African-American neighborhoods
  • Block parties
  • Pennsylvania
  • Philadelphia
  • Propensity score
  • Self-rated health
  • Social capital
  • USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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