Exploring nexus among diversity, stressful living environment and health outcomes: A global perspective


Background: Diversity is one of the buzzwords of the early twenty-first century and became a concept that bears multiple meanings to different groups of people. Diversity is most often referred to as the variety of human groups, societies, or cultures in a specific region, or in the whole world. Stress is any change in the environment that requires your body to react and it is non-specific response of the body to any demand. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Diversity and stressful living environment generate discrimination, segregation and social unrest that escalate the pressure on world’s population which led to inadequate physical and mental health. Objective: This study aims to investigate the relationship between diversity, stressful living environment and health outcomes by using the secondary data of 187-countries of the world. Method: This study has applied Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) technique for empirical analysis. Alesina’s fractionalization index has been used for measurement of diversity on the basis of ethnic and religious groups. Index of stressful living environment has been constructed employing Principal Components Analysis (PCA) technique by combining seven equally weighed variables i.e. homicide rates, GDP per capita, income inequality, corruption perception, unemployment, urban air pollution and life expectancy. Index of health outcomes comprised by core health related indicators defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) such as health status, health related risk factors, health related coverage, and health system. Results: The empirical findings revealed that diversity and stressful living environment both have negative and significant impact on health outcomes. Conclusion: This study concludes that diversity and stressful living environment both have a negative standing with health outcomes. Despite the fact that diversity cannot be reduced due to ethnic and religious diversity is an inherent part of most societies in a globalised world. However, it is unlikely to be halted yet the unintended negative impacts of such increased diversity can be minimized by establishing cohesiveness in society, that allow people to live in a healthy and stress-free environment. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2019; 33(4):212-218] Keywords: Stressful Living Environment; Ethnic Diversity; Religious Diversity, Health Outcomes.