Measuring Constructs

  • Evaluating both individual and environmental influences on health requires explicit measurement not only of individual attributes and risk factors, but also ecological variables.
  • Ecological variables can be included either in individual-level regression models (using generalized estimating equations) or in multi-level models, which estimate the amount of unique variation in an outcome explained by contextual factors.
  • Policy, organizational, environmental, and community attributes can be measured in several ways.
    • Examples: number of tobacco billboards in a neighborhood; amount of green space available for exercise