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Gentrification can impact health through exclusionary displacement pressure

Dr. Marisa Westbrook’s solo-authored article, The embodiment of exclusionary displacement pressure

Celebrating Research Achievement: Dr. Marisa Westbrook Solo-Authored Article In the Social Science & Medicine Journal

The School of Public Health takes immense pride in the achievements of our faculty. We are thrilled to announce Marisa Westbrook’s recent solo-authored article, “The embodiment of exclusionary displacement pressure: Intersections of housing insecurity and mental health in a Hispanic/Latinx immigrant neighborhood,” in the journal Social Science & Medicine. This solo-authored article is a theoretical component from her dissertation work that was recently published.

In this article, Marisa identifies how gentrification can impact health through exclusionary displacement pressure. Exclusionary displacement pressure wears on individuals over time and reproduces population health inequities, highlighting the need for stabilizing interventions in advance of physical displacement.

“Low-income individuals are experiencing changing neighborhoods. Many narratives around gentrification and neighborhood change discuss how low income families are pushed out and face health issues due to evictions, yet they do not discuss how early gentrification pressures can lead to stressors that impact community wellbeing even without physical displacement,” says Marisa.

Displacement health impacts range from diagnosable health conditions to various expressions of distress, including “feeling, battling, and enduring the pressure”.

While volunteering at food co-ops and attending community meetings, Marisa was able to learn more about how residents in new immigrant neighborhoods were experiencing early gentrification pressures. “I found that the discussion on gentrification tended to exclude certain communities (eg, Hispanic/Latinx perspectives, undocumented immigrant perspectives) and did not fully consider the impacts on health over time. I wanted to expand the existing academic conversation to center the experiences of these communities I was working with and learning from,” says Marisa.

This achievement underscores Marisa’s expertise and dedication to community health in underrepresented communities. To learn more about the topic, you can read the full article online.