Global health benefits of being raised in a rural setting: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey
Article first published online: 19 FEB 2014
© 2014 The Authors. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences © 2014 Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology
Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Volume 68, Issue 6, pages 395–403, June 2014
How to Cite
Goodwin, R. D. and Taha, F. (2014), Global health benefits of being raised in a rural setting: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 68: 395–403. doi: 10.1111/pcn.12144
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2014
- Article first published online: 19 FEB 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 DEC 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 25 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Received: 18 JUL 2013
- gastrointestinal diseases;
- mental disorders;
- rural population;
- substance-related disorders
The aim of this study was to examine the association between being raised in a rural setting and physical and mental health among adults in the USA.
Data were drawn from the National Comorbidity Survey (n = 8098), a household probability sample representative of adults aged 15–54 years in the USA. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to determine the association between being raised in a rural area and the likelihood of mental disorders, physical disorders, suicide behavior, and parental mental health. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals were calculated, adjusting for differences in demographic characteristics.
Being raised in a rural setting was associated with decreased odds of ulcer (OR = 0.56 [0.34, 0.91]). Mental disorders (any lifetime) (OR = 0.74 [0.64, 0.85]), any anxiety disorder (OR = 0.75 [0.6, 0.92]) and any substance use disorder (OR = 0.79 [0.65, 0.94]) were significantly less likely among adults who were raised in a rural setting. Maternal psychopathology and exposure to trauma were significantly lower among those raised in a rural setting, compared with those who were not. These relations were not explained by sociodemographic differences.
These data provide preliminary evidence that being raised in a rural environment lowers the risk of mental and physical health problems in adulthood. Being raised in a rural community also appears to be associated with significantly lower likelihood of exposure to trauma and maternal psychopathology. Future studies that can identify potential protective factors and mechanisms underlying these pathways are needed next.