The aspect of the neighborhood can influence its tenants in different ways. This much we know from every human psychology courses we’ve ever taken. A new study shows that in a low-income neighborhood there is an additional stressor, one that is frequently overlooked:rodents.
A recent study, performed by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health discovered that there is a direct connection between depression and the number of rodents in a neighborhood. More specifically, the team of public health specialists has found that people living in areas swarming with rats tend to be more depressive and inclined towards displaying aggressive behavior.
Danielle German, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins and the lead author of the study, declared that people living in poor neighborhoods often tend to display a higher amount of depression and hopelessness than persons living in higher-income areas.
Moreover, the assistant professor noted that the most prominent stress factors found in such a place are rats and trash, according to the field data the scientists and her team gathered.
German and her team interviewed approximately 500 residents living in several low-income neighborhoods from Baltimore. Although the poor areas also attracted a high crime rate, the residents seem to disregard aspects such as rape, theft, HIV, street gangs or sex.
Instead, as the professor noted, when she and her team approached the residents to talk about what bothers them the most, the people interviewed persisted in talking more about the rat plague and loose trash found around the neighborhood than other issues.
According to the statistics, approximately 50 percent of the candidates declared that they’ve seen rodents around their block once a week while 35 percent of them responded that they saw the ugly maggots at least once or twice per day.
Fortunately, less than 5 percent of the interviewed candidates said that they’ve seen rodents in their homes. All in all, circa 35 percent of the applicants believe that rats have become a serious issue that must be addressed immediately.
This is where depression comes in. According to Professor German, nearly 72 percent of those who declared that rodents are a serious problem, have displayed acute signs of clinical depression.
In conclusion, the study points out that there is indeed an intimate link between the aspect of the neighborhood and the general attitude of its tenants. This means that people living in high-income areas, with a low crime rate and no rodents, tend to be happier than those living in low-income neighborhoods who have to deal with rats on a daily basis.
Furthermore, in her closing marks, the Professor mentioned that the symptoms grow more intolerable with each sighting.