Neighborhoods and disability in later life.

TitleNeighborhoods and disability in later life.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsFreedman, VA, Grafova, IB, Schoeni, RF, Rogowski, J
JournalSoc Sci Med
Date Published2008 Jun
ISSN Number0277-9536
Call Numbernewpubs20080528_SocSciMed.pdf
KeywordsAging, Disabled Persons, Factor Analysis, Statistical, Female, Health Status Disparities, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Residence Characteristics, Social Conditions, Socioeconomic factors, United States

This paper uses the US Health and Retirement Study to explore linkages between neighborhood conditions and stages of the disablement process among adults aged 55 years and older in the United States. We consider multiple dimensions of the neighborhood including the built environment as well as social and economic conditions. In doing so, we use factor analysis to reduce indicators into eight neighborhood scales, which we incorporate into two-level logistic regression models along with controls for individual-level factors. We find evidence that economic conditions and the built environment, but not social conditions, matter. Neighborhood economic advantage is associated with a reduced risk of lower body limitations for both men and women. We also find for men that neighborhood economic disadvantage is linked to increased chances of reporting personal care limitations, particularly for those aged 55-64 years, and that high connectivity of the built environment is associated with reduced risk of limitations in instrumental activities. Our findings highlight the distinctive benefits of neighborhood economic advantage early in the disablement process. In addition, findings underscore the need for attention in the design and evaluation of disability-prevention efforts to the benefits that accrue from more physically connected communities and to the potential harm that may arise in later life from living in economically disadvantaged areas.

User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

Neighborhood Change/DISABILITY/DISABILITY/Social conditions

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalSoc Sci Med
Citation Key7218
PubMed ID18329148
PubMed Central IDPMC2478756
Grant ListR01 AG024058-05 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG024058-01 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG024058-02 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG024058-04 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R24 HD041028 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG024058 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01AG024058 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P50 ES12383 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG024058-03 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P50 ES012383 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States