Stress isn't just a problem for individuals, says Coalition member Dr. Flora Matheson. As a researcher at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael's Hospital, her work looks at how the stress a neighbourhood faces shapes the health of its residents. What stresses a neighbour-hood? Poverty, crowding, or a lack of housing or social services may all contribute; one aspect of Dr. Matheson's work is to identify a useful and consistent group of neighbour-hood stress indicators.
"Work on neighbourhood stressors helps to illuminate how men and women experience their environments and how these environments influence health," says Dr. Matheson. Her current study uses a combination of surveys and national census data to trace the links between neighbourhood stressors and individual health. It focuses on three primary health outcomes for individuals: depression (more prevalent in women); alcohol abuse (more prevalent in men) and a general measure of self-reported health relevant to both genders. "Neighbourhood stress may be especially important to our understanding of women's health," says Dr. Matheson, "since women are known to be more embedded in their communities."
Collaborative Graduate Program in Women's Health
A new Collaborative Graduate Program in Women's Health has begun at the University this fall. The program engages 15 University Departments, Faculties and Institutes in multidisciplinary training for women's health students.
For more details about the program, including registration forms for interested students, visit the Program's new web site at: www.womensresearch.ca/graduate
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