Douglas Knutson, M. Irgens, K. Flynn, Jana Berkessel, et al.
Associations Between Primary Residence and Mental Health in Global Marginalized Populations

Community Mental Health Journal, 2023: 59, issue 6, pp. 1083 - 1096
ISSN: 0010-3853 (print), 1573-2789 (online)

Scholars suggest that marginalized people in non-urban areas experience higher distress levels and fewer psychosocial resources than in urban areas. Researchers have yet to test whether precise proximity to urban centers is associated with mental health for marginalized populations. We recruited 1733 people who reported living in 45 different countries. Participants entered their home locations and completed measures of anxiety, depression, social support, and resilience. Regression and thematic analyses were used to determine what role distance from legislative and urban centers may play in mental health when marginalized people were disaggregated. Greater distance from legislative center predicted higher anxiety and resilience. Greater distance from urban center also predicted more resilience. Thematic analyses yielded five categories (e.g., safety, connection) that further illustrated the impact of geographic location on health. Implications for community mental health are discussed including the need to better understand and further expand resilience in rural areas.