HealthDay (10/11, Preidt) reports, “Moving from an area with a high poverty level to an area with less poverty benefits the mental health of some teen girls,” according to a study published online Oct. 8 in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Investigators “looked at low-income families in public housing in five US cities — Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York — between 1994 and 1997. The families were randomly selected to remain in public housing (high-poverty areas) or to receive government-funded rental subsidies to move into private apartments (low-poverty areas).”
Taking a more negative view of the study’s conclusions, MedPage Today(10/11, Fiore) reports, “Girls in poorer areas may realize some benefit from moving into a better neighborhood, but the change may be harmful for boys.” In fact, “an intervention that offered vouchers to move to Section 8 housing significantly improved distress for girls (P=0.05), but it appeared to be harmful to boys for this outcome (P=0.03).” What’s more, “the intervention offered few benefits for those who came from families with baseline health problems, regardless of their gender,” the study authors reported. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
— “Does Neighborhood Income Affect Teens’ Mental Health?, “Robert Preidt, HealthDay, October 10, 2012.