Karlee Naylon

Where the Sidewalk Ends: Built Environment Decline and Depression

This study utilizes panel data collected in 1986 and 1989 to analyze the relationship between the quality of neighborhood sidewalks and individuals’ levels of depression. Based on the well-established association between social isolation and negative mental health outcomes, we hypothesized that residents living in areas with poor sidewalks would report higher levels of depression due to limited walkability in their neighborhoods. We found that poorly maintained sidewalks were indeed associated with higher levels of depression (p < .001). We identified additional relationships between sidewalk quality and social integration (positive; p < .001) and between social integration and depression (inverse; p < .001). These findings carry implications for urban planners and local government finance.

Dependence, Violence, and Neglect in Women with Disabilities

Individuals with disabilities each live within their own unique circumstances, thus implying that their levels of reliance on others also vary accordingly. For example, some individuals with disabilities may function completely independently, some may live semi-independently (i.e., an individual with a visual or hearing impairment), and some may exclusively rely on personal care assistants to complete ADLs (i.e., an individual with total paralysis or a severe intellectual disability). These differences in dependence may potentially put an individual at elevated risk of sexual violence and neglect; those who retain a significant level of autonomy may rely very little on others to complete daily activities, while those with comparatively less mobility may depend on care assistants and thus be more vulnerable to abuse. The intersection between disability, sex, and level of dependence may have significant implications for disability policy, methods of identifying victims of violence, and services available to survivors of neglect and sexual abuse. This study explores the relationship between the need for assistance on various tasks and experiences of sexual violence reported by women with physical disabilities and motor impairments.