Social connectedness and health
Social connectedness has been associated with reduced morbidity and mortality in a range of studies over recent decades, and differences in access to social resources among communities have been associated with health inequalities. Following an earlier pilot study, the Modelling and Simulation group is involved in collecting quantitative data on social encounter networks in populations with a range of demographic, socio-economic and cultural characteristics.
In collaboration with VicHealth, the Department of Health, and researchers from sociology, psychology and urban planning, we are exploring how social networks mediate between neighbourhood attributes and individual health outcomes. Funding from the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network has provided us with a forum to deliver the methods and insights developed through this research to a wider research and policy audience. Funding from Carlton Connect has enabled us to engage a wider set of collaborators from academia, government and community organisations to consider opportunities and challenges associated with ethics of collecting such data and its translation into policy outcomes. Current funding is enabling us to extend our understanding of these social networks to consider how they facilitate the spread of beliefs and behaviours about health.
ARC Linkage Project, ARC DECRA, University of Melbourne, AURIN, Carlton Connect
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