Neighborhood Effects on Sexual and Reproductive Health: A Review of the Literature

Ushma D. Upadhyay, University of California, San Francisco
Deborah Karasek, University of California, San Francisco

Social and contextual conditions of the neighborhood environment may affect sexual and reproductive health behavior. This review assesses the quality, quantity, methodological variation, and consistency of quantitative evidence examining neighborhood effects on sexual and reproductive health outcomes. We identified 15 articles and organized them according to key sexual and reproductive outcomes of interest, neighborhood definition used, neighborhood level variables and data source, and analytic technique. The majority of studies found evidence of the relationship between some group level factors and sexual and reproductive outcomes. However not all findings were internally or externally consistent. Associations between neighborhood level conditions and individual sexual and reproductive health outcomes remain inconclusive due to lack of appropriate data and methodological technique. Further research should examine the complex interactions of neighborhood contextual factors and individual sexual behavior.

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Presented in Poster Session 5