Main and interactive effects of inflammation and perceived neighbourhood cohesion on psychological distress: results from a population-based study in the UK

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Quality of Life Research


Efstathios Papachristou, Eirini Flouri, Theodora Kokosi and Marta Francesconi

Publication date


Purpose: Low neighbourhood cohesion and increased levels of inflammation are independent predictors of psychological distress. In this study we explored if they also interact to predict it. Methods: Our sample was 9,393 adult participants of the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS), a large longitudinal household panel study in the UK. Inflammation was measured using C-reactive protein levels. Perceived neighbourhood cohesion was measured using a 13-item questionnaire. Psychological distress was measured with the General Health Questionnaire-12. Results: Perceived neighbourhood cohesion and inflammation retained their significant main effects on psychological distress even after adjustment for confounders (age, gender, ethnicity, partner status, education, smoking status, obesity and urbanicity). The effect of neighbourhood cohesion was larger. However, we did not find evidence for an interactive association between the two. Conclusions: Perceived neighbourhood cohesion was inversely related to psychological distress, over and above other important person- and neighbourhood-level characteristics. Inflammation was also associated with psychological distress, albeit less strongly. If these associations are causal, they suggest that promoting neighbourhood cohesion can alleviate some of the burden associated with psychological distress.

Volume and page numbers

28, 2147-2157





Area Effects, Psychology, Well Being, Health, Social Behaviour and Biology


Open Access; This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.