CONNECTIONS WITH NEIGHBORS

CONNECTIONS WITH NEIGHBORS

An interconnected community is built upon trusting relationships among community members who support one another and communicate openly. This trust fosters the formation of new, and strengthens existing, community connections. Connections with neighbors encourage health by incentivizing outdoor interactions, creating support systems for vulnerable individuals, and promoting positive relationships for youth.

DISPARITIES AND STATISTICS

  • Race and Ethnicity: Six-in-ten whites say they trust all or most of their neighbors, compared with 31% of blacks and 27% of Hispanics. While whites as a group are wealthier than blacks and Hispanics, there are still gaps in trust between whites and nonwhites of the same income brackets. 27

  • Socioeconomic Status: Americans who can afford to live in more affluent neighborhoods are generally more trusting of their neighbors: 67% of those with household incomes of $75,000 or more say they trust all or most of their neighbors, compared with just 37% of those earning less than $30,000 per year.27

Health: Residents of “close-knit” neighborhoods may be more likely to work together to achieve common goals (e.g., cleaner and safer public spaces, healthy behaviors and good schools), to exchange information (e.g., regarding childcare, jobs and other resources that affect health), and to maintain informal social controls (e.g., discouraging crime or other undesirable behaviors such as smoking or alcohol use among youths, drunkenness, littering and graffiti), all of which can directly or indirectly influence health. Children in more closely-knit neighborhoods are more likely to receive guidance from multiple adults and less likely to engage in health-damaging behaviors like smoking, drinking, drug use or gang involvement.28

Antonio Lewis