Exploring evidence for a prospective relationship between common mental disorder and meeting residential mobility preferences

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Health and Place


Charlotte Woodhead, Lisa Aschan, Michael T. Lynskey, Catherine Polling, Laura Goodwin and Stephani L. Hatch

Publication date


This study investigates evidence of a selective influence of mental
health in meeting residential mobility preferences. Data from two waves
of Understanding Society (the UK Household Longitudinal Study) were used
to identify four preference-mobility groups (‘desired stayers’,
‘entrapped’, ‘desired movers’, ‘displaced’). Associations between mental
health (symptoms of common mental disorder, CMD) and
preference-mobility groups were measured both before and after
residential moves. Those identified with CMD at baseline were at greater
risk of being both in the ‘entrapped’ and the ‘desired mover’ groups,
relative to the ‘desired stayer’ group in the following year. The
association between preference-mobility group and subsequent poorer
mental health was found among both groups that failed to meet their
mobility preferences (‘entrapped’ and ‘displaced’). This study finds
evidence for a selective influence of mental health - such that those
with poorer mental health are less likely to achieve a desired
residential move, and highlights the importance of considering a
bidirectional relationship between residential mobility and mental

Volume and page numbers

32, 19-28






Well Being, Health and Housing Market



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