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Guest lecture

Moving beyond association: developing causal explanations for the relationship between housing and health

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It is widely acknowledged that there are strong associations between economic factors and inequalities in health status. However, most of these associations are correlations and do not provide information about the causal relationships between economic factors and health. Housing is a key driver of economic circumstances given it is a primary expenditure for most people and is a source of wealth and intergenerational transfer of assets. The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia panel survey enables examination of causal aspects of the important relationship between housing and mental health. This paper will present findings from a body of research utilising longitudinal data that describes how housing affordability and tenure impact on changes in mental health over time and who is vulnerable in Australia. Comparison to the British data yields useful insights into how the housing system in each jurisdiction shapes population mental health and wellbeing. It concludes with a brief discussion of the implications for policy, practice and research.

About Rebecca Bentley

Rebecca Bentley is a public health researcher based at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health who, together with Emma Baker a housing researcher from the University of Adelaide, has developed a research program exploring the role of housing and residential location in shaping health and wellbeing in Australia and internationally. This research has a particular focus on housing affordability, tenure and their measureable effects on individual health and wellbeing. Work from this program was recently awarded the Mike Berry Award for Excellence in Housing Research for 2015.

Note: Papers, presentation slides and any other material provided by the Guest Lecturer will be made available some time after the lecture at Publications > Media & Speeches > Guest Lectures by Visiting Academics.

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Last updated: 
Tuesday, 3 November 2015