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Title: Urban regeneration and psychological mechanisms associated with 'urbanicity' effect
Author: Choudhri, Nasim
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 5053
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis consists of two chapters, a systematic review and an empirical paper, with additional information and supporting documents contained within the appendices. Both chapters are intended for publication in PLOS ONE and therefore written using the appropriate author guidelines (Appendix A) and the Vancouver style of referencing is therefore used throughout. The demand for mental health services in the UK continues to grow, as do the pressures on the NHS to continue to meet this demand, however, there is a compelling argument that psychological therapies should be one of many interventions that target the cumulative influences on mental health throughout the life course (1). It is recognised that advantage, or disadvantage starts before birth and accumulates through life, thus interventions at the earliest stage to reduce disadvantage, will generate the greatest subsequent benefits in improving physical and mental health and reducing inequalities (1,2). An aspect of our daily living, which has been associated with deleterious effects on mental health and wellbeing is our urban environment, evidenced by an increased likelihood of developing common and severe mental health disorders (3-5). While historically, significant gains have been made in relation to control of infectious diseases, with housing and sanitation improvements in our cities, mental health has not seen the same priority (6). Daily living conditions, including housing, have more recently been identified as important social determinants of mental health and included in recommendations for action (2). There is, therefore, a growing need for housing and urban environmental planning and design to be key aspects of public health intervention. Urban regeneration is one form of intervention used to provide area level improvement, often including improved housing. The impact of urban regeneration and housing interventions on health and mental health has been the subject of a number of systematic reviews (7-9). Existing reviews have demonstrated improvements to mental health in relation to targeted housing interventions, with inconsistent evidence for the impact of urban regeneration. One area that has been overlooked by earlier reviews is the impact of urban regeneration on the mental health of BME groups. Chapter 1 therefore aims to synthesise the quantitative evidence on the impact of urban regeneration on the mental health of BME groups. The findings from the systematic review demonstrated a significant lack of research in this area and highlights that inequality can only be targeted if all groups are included. Chapter 2 aims to explore psychological mechanisms thought to underpin the association between urban environments and mental health. The empirical paper demonstrated that briefly contemplating images of urban environments influences our consideration of future consequences, sense of personal control and attention to threat, thereby contributing to existing research concerning the urbanicity effect (3,10).
Supervisor: Corcoran, Rhiannon ; White, Ross Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral