Current Research In-Progress

DC Neighborhood Health Study
Principal Investigator: Dr. Judy Lubin, Howard University

There is growing recognition that neighborhood characteristics contribute to health inequities experienced by racial and ethnic minority groups. Because many neighborhoods in cities such as Washington, D.C. are undergoing dramatic changes due to gentrification, it is important that researchers and public health practitioners understand how health can be affected by changing neighborhood characteristics and resident perceptions of their ability to access health-related services where they live. Demographic changes within neighborhoods may create or exacerbate disparities among new and long-time residents, between racial/ethnic minorities and whites, and between low or moderate income residents and higher income residents who can afford to shop at expensive retail outlets or pay for new trendy fitness facilities that open in mixed-income or gentrifying neighborhoods.

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships among race, objective measures of neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES), perceived neighborhood characteristics (e.g., safety, aesthetics, social cohesion, availability of healthy foods and health care services) and self-reported health status among District of Columbia residents. The study will examine resident perceptions of the social, physical and services environment in their neighborhoods and how these perceptions are related to race, income, health status and length of residence in the neighborhood. The study will also examine whether resident perception of neighborhood characteristics differ among five rapidly-gentrifying neighborhoods in DC and to what extent do these differences explain the health status of residents in those communities.

Studying the impact of changing neighborhood characteristics on the health of residents is an important line of inquiry that may provide direction for local communities and governments seeking to institute policies and programs that prevent displacement, facilitate health for all residents, and encourage social cohesion in mixed-income and racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods. Furthermore, in the face of decreasing use of landline telephones and declining response rates for telephone surveys (Pew Research Center 2012), new and traditional methods used to reach hard-to-reach populations will be needed for research purposes. This study’s use of street-intercept method may facilitate a renewed interest in this method in light of the need for community-based research methods that engage diverse populations that may be difficult to reach by telephone or mail techniques.

Book manuscript (based on my dissertation)

Race and the Politics of Health Reform, From the New Deal to the Affordable Care Act (in progress – click to read abstract)

Recent Academic Publications

Black Lives Matter: Implications for Public Health Research, Advocacy and Practice (under review)

Inclusion and Exclusion of Latinos in the Affordable Care Act: Challenges and Opportunities for Achieving Health Equity – Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, 2014

The ‘Occupy’ Movement: Emerging Protest Forms and Contested Urban Spaces– Berkley Planning Journal, 2012.

Working Papers

Framing Racial Health Inequities: What Works for Gaining Public Support for Policy and Systems Change