Neighborhood Cohesion Across the Life Course and Effects on Cognitive Aging.

TitleNeighborhood Cohesion Across the Life Course and Effects on Cognitive Aging.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsChoi, J, Han, SHwang, Ng, YTo, Muñoz, E
JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
ISSN Number1758-5368

OBJECTIVES: Greater neighborhood cohesion is associated with better cognitive function in adulthood and may serve as a protective factor against cognitive impairment and decline. We build on prior work by examining the effects of perceived neighborhood cohesion across the life course on level and change in cognitive function in adulthood.

METHODS: Utilizing longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (1998-2016) and its Life History Mail Survey, we leveraged data from 3,599 study participants (baseline age: 51-89) who participated in up to 10 waves. Respondents provided retrospective ratings of neighborhood cohesion at childhood (age 10), young adulthood (age at first full-time job), early midlife (age 40), and concurrently at baseline (i.e., late midlife/adulthood); they completed the modified version of the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (mTICS). We fit a univariate latent growth curve model of change in cognitive function across waves and tested whether neighborhood cohesion during each recollected life stage predicted level and change in cognitive function.

RESULTS: Greater neighborhood cohesion during childhood and late midlife/adulthood each predicted higher cognitive function at baseline but not rate of cognitive decline. The final model showed that greater neighborhood cohesion in childhood and in late midlife/adulthood remained significantly associated with higher baseline cognitive function, even after accounting for one another.

DISCUSSION: Findings provide insight into life course neighborhood contextual influences on cognitive aging. Our results emphasize the need for more research to understand the life course dynamics between neighborhood environments and cognitive aging.

Citation Key13369
PubMed ID37350749