[Homestead] We could have told them that
genegerue at ruralize.com
Wed Jan 4 10:56:56 EST 2006
'Mental health better' in country
4 January 2006
People who live in the country have better mental health than those who
live in towns and cities, researchers have said.
Some theories have suggested that the isolation of rural living, the lack
of social networks and difficulties accessing amenities have a negative
impact on country-dwellers' mental health.
But other studies have shown higher rates of common mental disorders such
as depression and anxiety in urban areas, and also higher rates of suicides.
Researchers writing for the British Journal of Psychiatry have revealed
that people living in the countryside do have slightly better mental health
than their counterparts living in the town.
The team, from Warwick Medical School, Portsmouth University and Bristol
University, used information from the British Household Panel Survey, which
began in 1991.
In total they looked at data for 7,659 adults in England, Wales and
Scotland, taking into account factors such as age, marital status,
employment, financial strain and physical health problems.
"There are small but statistically significant differences in rates of
common mental disorders between urban and rural residents," the researchers
"Rural residents had slightly better mental health than non-rural counterparts.
"The effects of geographical location on the mental health of participants
were neither significantly confounded nor modified by socio-economic
status, employment status or household income."
The researchers found that rates of mental problems both starting and
continuing were lower in rural areas. They also found a high rate of
remission in people with common mental disorders at the start of the study
who lived in the least densely populated areas.
More information about the Homestead