Nobody likes rats, this much we can say for certain. But why are rats so hated, besides the obvious facts that they filthy and can spread disease? According to a new study, rats or rather the presence of such rodents in the area can reflect its general mood.
A new study points out that people living in low-income neighborhoods, which are also infested with rats, tend to be more depressed than people living either in high-income neighborhoods or who do no experience rat problems.
While this statement is obvious from the start, it would seem that the tenants of such places are more concerned about trash and rodents than street gangs and crime.
The study was conducted by a team of scientists from Johns Hopkins University. Danielle German, the lead author of the study, said that between March 2010 and December 2011, she and her team interviewed no less than 448 tenants from five low-income Baltimore neighborhood.
To her surprise, added the senior researcher, although the streets weren’t the safest place to be due to the high rate of crime, its tenants were more concerned about rats and trash than street gangs, HIV and drug abuse.
According to the assistant professor, the state of the neighborhood or any other area inhabited by people can determine and shape the tenant’s general mood. German and her team discovered that the people who live in rat-infested neighborhoods tend to experience anxiety, depression and a general feeling of sadness.
And their numbers tend to confirm their assumption according to which the constant sights of a rate can perpetuate this state of decadence. Statistically speaking, the team found out that approximately 50 percent of the interviewed candidates have seen rats around their neighborhood on a weekly basis while 35 percent of them said that they saw rodents each day around the block.
Roughly 13 percent of them declared that they saw rats in their homes and 5 percent of them told the investigators that they have to deal with rats on a daily basis.
When asked about how they perceive the relationship between rats and environment, more than half of the candidates agreed that rodents indicate a bad neighborhood.
Furthermore, the study also revealed that over 83 percent of the candidates were African-American, and 54 percent of them were males living in low-income communities with no additional income sources.
But German said we shouldn’t lose hope so soon because the situation can be mended. The assistant professor declared that if the rat problem is dealt with, then the area’s entire mood can change.