Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 51–60 | Cite as

The Association Between Apartment Layout and Depressive Symptomology among Hispanic/Latino Residents in Low-Income Housing: the AHOME Study

  • Earle C. Chambers
  • Sonit Bafna
  • Herminia Machry


In this study of low-income Hispanic/Latino adults living in 291 individual apartments in the Bronx, New York, the apartment layout was significantly associated with the odds of depressive symptomology. Women living in apartments in which the most central rooms were the living, dining, or kitchen (i.e., rooms commonly used for communal activities) were less likely to have depressive symptomology (OR = 0.44, 95% CI = 0.22–0.86) than women in apartments where the central rooms were lobbies or corridors, adjusting for demographics, health conditions, and housing and neighborhood characteristics. No statistically significant association was observed in men. We present the logic underlying the use of layout variables in this study and discuss the implications it may have for understanding the role of the home environment on psychological distress among inhabitants. The results of this study show how space syntax analysis can be used to better understanding disparities in the risk of depression and offer an additional opportunity for public health stakeholders to identify those most at risk for depression.


Built environment Depression Hispanic/Latino Space syntax Housing 



The AHOME Study was funded by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s “How Housing Matters” research program (Grant #94005-0). Dr. Earle Chambers was funded, in part, by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (grant no. K01HL125466). We would also like to acknowledge Dr. Emily Rosenbaum, the co-PI of the AHOME, for her work on this study.


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Earle C. Chambers
    • 1
  • Sonit Bafna
    • 2
  • Herminia Machry
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Family & Social MedicineAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  2. 2.School of ArchitectureGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.School of ArchitectureClemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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