Perceived Neighborhood Environment and Changes in Health among Older Adults
Ye Luo, Clemson University
Using data from a subsample of the 2006 Health and Retirement Study and the follow-up survey in 2008, this study examined the direct and indirect effects of perceived neighborhood characteristics on changes in depressive symptoms, self-rated health, and functional limitations among U.S. older adults. The large representative sample makes the results more generalizable, and the longitudinal data allow us to better establish causal direction of these effects. The results show some interesting patterns. Perceived neighborhood disorder has an effect on changes in depressive symptoms and self-rated health. These effects are largely explained by economic resources, such as education, income, and wealth. Perceived neighborhood cohesion affects changes in all three health outcomes, but these effects are less affected by economic resources. Rather they are explained mainly by psychological resources and followed by social resources and health behaviors.