I'm absolutely useless at statistics but I am investigating the relationship between different land use categories, and so on, and reported subjective well being of individuals. All my data is at ward level so I have for example the average reported SWB of an area.

A similar study doing this uses a regression analysis and has SWB as the dependent variable and other aspects, such as green space, as independent. I get this I think.

Now they then go on to 'account for individual characteristics' and this is the part I don't get. They try to prove that variations in SWB are actually due to the land characteristics and not the people characteristics, like for example unemployment.

How would I go about accounting for social characteristics? What kind of data would I need?

The study I am referring to is http://webarchive.nationalarchives.g...and-place.html