What is the Impact of Neighbourhood Change & Psychotic Experiences?

Research Paper Title

Neighborhood change and psychotic experiences in a general population sample.


Social stress caused by the neighbourhood environment may be a risk factor for psychotic experiences (PEs).

However, little information is available on the effect of the perception of the neighbourhood in relation to PEs.


In a general population study in the United States (N = 974), the researchers examined the relationship between PEs and neighborhood disruption/gentrification.


When adjusted for age, sex, race, income, nativity, city, marital status, and common mental disorders, higher disruption scores were significantly associated with higher odds for any PE (odds ratio = 1.09, 95% CI = 1.05-1.12).

The same pattern of associations was observed for individual PEs including delusional mood, delusion of reference and persecution, delusion of control, and hallucination.


This study suggests that subjectively perceived neighbourhood change may be a factor contributing to the occurrence of PEs.

There was no significant relationship between PE and gentrification.

Having a low income and racial minority status did not modify this association.

Future studies can employ comparative longitudinal analyses of individuals/neighbourhoods/cities, geographical information systems, and ethnography, to examine the impact of neighbourhood change on mental health.


Narita, Z., Knowles, K., Fedina, L., Oh, H., Stickley, A., Kelleher, I. & DeVylder, J. (2019) Neighborhood change and psychotic experiences in a general population sample. Schizophrenia Research. pii: S0920-9964(19)30543-2. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2019.11.036. [Epub ahead of print].

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