Urban stress and health in developing countries: development and validation of a neighborhood stress index for India.

Research paper by Sonia S Suchday, Suman S Kapur, Craig K CK Ewart, Jennifer P JP Friedberg

Indexed on: 24 Nov '06Published on: 24 Nov '06Published in: Behavioral medicine (Washington, D.C.)


Stress caused by chronic difficulties encountered by people residing in poor urban neighborhoods is associated with health problems and disease in developed countries, but the relationship between neighborhood stress and health in developing nations, such as India, has not been assessed. In this study, the authors administered the City Stress Inventory, a self-report measure assessing stress experienced as a function of environmental conditions unique to living in large cities that was validated in the United States, to 163 high school students in New Delhi, India. Components of urban stress in India, with some modifications, appear to be similar to components of urban stress reported by adolescents in the United States. Urban stress was predictive of high blood pressure as reported by the adolescents 'parents. In addition, urban stress also predicted health habits, such as chewing tobacco and alcohol use, and psychosocial characteristics, such as hostility. Adolescents' reports of parental stress concerning money and social pressures were also associated with city stress. The current study indicates that the City Stress Inventory is valid in an Indian sample and is predictive of health problems.