Understanding noise exposure, noise annoyance, and psychological stress: Incorporating individual mobility and the temporality of the exposure-effect relationship

Yinhua Tao, Yanwei Chai, Lirong Kou, Mei Po Kwan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Noise is a pervasive environmental stressor that has adverse impacts on people's mental health. However, past studies on the relationship between individuals' chronic noise exposure and psychological stress were inconclusive, partly due to their ignorance of the role of individual mobility and the temporality of the exposure-effect relationship. This study examines how individual mobility and temporality influence the relationship between noise exposure, noise annoyance, and psychological stress. An approach combining geographic ecological momentary assessment (GEMA) and portable noise sensors is used to collect real-time data from a sample of residents in Beijing, China. Using structural equation modeling, the study found that noise annoyance mediates the association between noise exposure and psychological stress in real-time. Further, participants reported divergent psychological stress levels in locations other than their residences and workplaces. Compared with the home locations, recreational and commercial places are noisier but less stressful, while participants tend to experience higher levels of noise and annoyance during travel. In addition, the cumulative effect of noise exposure on stress decreases in magnitude over time but stays significant within 3 h of the exposure. The results suggest that health impact assessments should take into account people's real-time noise exposure and psychological responses to noise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102283
JournalApplied Geography
Volume125
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Ecological momentary assessment
  • Mental health
  • Mobility
  • Noise exposure
  • Uncertain geographic context problem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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