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HBSC Spain Publishes: Neighbourhood Perceptions and Sense of Coherence in Adolescence

This recent study, conducted by members of HBSC’s Spanish team, marks one of the first attempts to understand the associations between neighbourhood assets (resources that enhance one’s ability to maintain and sustain health), sources of risk within a neighbourhood, and sense of coherence* among adolescents. This important research has wide reaching implications for the way we understand the health of adolescents, due to the relationship between sense of coherence and health.  

The analysis, which included data from the 2009/2010 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey, found that neighbourhood risks were negatively associated with the adolescents’ sense of coherence. In contrast, neighbourhood assets, especially relationships with significant adults, were found to be positively associated with the adolescents’ sense of coherence.

Assets were found to explain 6.5 % of the variability in sense of coherence scores, even after controlling for risks. This suggests that assets may play a significant role, even in neighbourhoods where risks are present. 

These findings can help to shed light on how to develop useful strategies for neighbourhood level health interventions. It is also hoped that the results will encourage other researchers to include a consideration of the role of the neighbourhood when conducting future research about sense of coherence - the majority of which to date has been focused on the role of family and school.


*Sense of coherence can be described as the extent to which one feels confidently that: (1) the stimuli deriving from one’s internal and external environments in the course of living are structured, predictable and explicable (comprehensibility); (2) the resources are available to one to meet the demands posed by the stimuli (manageability); and (3) these demands are challenges, worthy of investment and engagement (meaningfulness)” (Antonovsky, 1987, p. 19)


see here for further details
contact: Mr Joe Hancock

item 1915
[02-10-2013 to 31-10-2013]


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