American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 56, Issue 1–2, pp 134–144 | Cite as

How Neighborhood Poverty Structures Types and Levels of Social Integration

  • Andrea Fleisch Marcus
  • Sandra E. Echeverria
  • Bart K. Holland
  • Ana F. Abraido-Lanza
  • Marian R. Passannante
Original Article


Social integration is fundamental to health and well-being. However, few studies have explored how neighborhood contexts pattern types and levels of social integration that individuals experience. We examined how neighborhood poverty structures two dimensions of social integration: integration with neighbors and social integration more generally. Using data from the United States Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we linked study participants to percent poverty in their neighborhood of residence (N = 16,040). Social integration was assessed using a modified Social Network Index and neighborhood integration based on yearly visits with neighbors. We fit multivariate logistic regression models that accounted for the complex survey design. Living in high poverty neighborhoods was associated with lower social integration but higher visits with neighbors. Neighborhood poverty distinctly patterns social integration, demonstrating that contexts shape the extent and quality of social relationships.


Social integration Social relationships Neighborhood poverty Social determinants of health 



The authors acknowledge Negasi Beyene and the Research Data Center at NCHS for their help in acquiring and accessing the data and for compiling the dataset. Support for preparing this manuscript was provided, in part, by the National Institutes of Health (Grants R25GM062454 and UL1TR000040). Part of this work was supported by Diversity Supplement R01CA49705-0281 and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Active Living Research, New Connections Program.


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Copyright information

© Society for Community Research and Action 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nutritional SciencesRutgers School of Health Related ProfessionsNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyRutgers School of Public HealthPiscatawayUSA
  3. 3.Rutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolNewarkUSA
  4. 4.Department of Sociomedical SciencesColumbia University Mailman School of Public HealthNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Department of Preventive Medicine and Community HealthRutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolNewarkUSA

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