Objective and Subjective Neighborhood Crime Associated with Poor Sleep among Young Sexual Minority Men: a GPS Study

Benjamin D. Huber, Byoungjun Kim, Basile Chaix, Seann D. Regan, Dustin T. Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sleep disparities in sexual minority male (SMM) populations have received relatively little attention but they may be critical to explaining other health disparities seen among SMM, via neural or hormonal pathways. Recent research suggests that crime may be a psychosocial stressor that contributes to sleep disparities but that finding has been based on subjective measures of crime. We conducted the P18 Neighborhood Study of 250 SMM in New York City, including 211 with adequate GPS tracking data. We used the GPS tracking data to define daily path area activity spaces and tested the associations of violent crime in those activity spaces and in the subject’s residential neighborhood, perceived neighborhood safety, and witnessing crime with a subjective measure of sleep. Using quasi-Poisson regression, adjusted for individual and neighborhood socio-demographics, we found that SMM who witnessed more types of crime experienced significantly more nights of poor sleep over the course of a month (RR: 1.16, 95%CI: 1.05–1.27, p-value: < 0.01). We did not find any associations between violent crime rates in either the activity area or residential area and sleep. Our findings support the conclusion that personal exposure to crime is associated with sleep problems and provide further evidence for the pathway between stress and sleep. The lack of association between neighborhood crime levels and sleep suggests that there must be personal experience with crime and ambient presence is insufficient to produce an effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1115-1126
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Exposure to crime
  • Neighborhood crime
  • Perceived safety
  • Sleep
  • Spatial analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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