What is the effect of cities on our mental health?

What is the effect of cities on our mental health?

A University of Chicago study found lower rates of depression in the city, contradicting many common beliefs

Cities have a bad reputation for sabotaging our mental health, stressing traffic jams, roadworks and noise of all kinds. Therefore, in people’s minds, living in the city would be favorable for depression.

However, a recent study by the University of Chicago suggests otherwise. The latter reveals lower rates of depression for individuals residing in cities. The study, led by Andrew Steer, Mark Berman, and Louis Bettencourt, looks more specifically at the impact of social and economic relationships on well-being. This new search Point out the link between a greater number of socioeconomic interactions and a lower risk of depression – possibly because these links provide greater motivation and greater goals.

In fact, the ever stimulating environment provided by the city has been shown to be conducive to the personal development of individuals, constantly in touch with innovation.

Socializing against depression

One urban science finding in recent years is that, on average, people have more connections belonging to a greater variety of jobs when living in large cities. Knowing that social isolation is a significant risk factor for depression, it stands to reason that increased socialization through these diverse networks could be protective.

Berman, a professor of psychology at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Neuroscience, noted that the fact that there is greater social interaction in large cities leads some people to believe that these connections are more superficial or of lower quality. Although the team did not measure the quality of social interactions in their study, they say the results do not conflict with this variable.

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The researchers explained that the study focuses on depression and therefore does not include other mental illnesses.

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