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Category: Neighborhood Context & Health

Childhood Socioeconomic Status Continues to Impact Physical and Cognitive Health

A number of studies have shown an association of socioeconomic status with a longer life span, and a recent study expands upon this research to examine the impact of childhood and adult socioeconomic status on physical and cognitive functioning later in life. A representative sample of 2,229 adults ages 60 to 64 was given nine physical and cognitive performance tests. Examples of the...

Neighborhood Social Cohesion & Social Capital: Implications for Older Adult Well-Being

It has been well-established that singlehood and poverty in older adulthood are associated with lower subjective well-being. However, a recent study published in the Gerontologist suggests that various aspects of one’s social environment may attenuate the adverse effects of marital status and income on well-being. Namely, neighborhood services, social capital, and social cohesion may...

Bilingualism Delays Onset of Single-Domain aMCI

Researchers have provided further evidence that bilingualism may contribute to cognitive reserve and delay the onset of dementia of the Alzheimer’s type (DAT). A study published in the Journals of Gerontology Series B focused on the association between bilingualism and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI)—the common transition stage between normal aging and DAT. Specifically,...

Building Evidence for the “Village” Model of Aging in Place

The so-called “Village” model is a promising approach to aging in place. Based on Boston’s Beacon Hill Village, which began in 2001, these co-operative, consumer-driven programs have appeared in dozens of areas around the US, primarily in cities. Generally, they are autonomous organizations of older adults who seek to support one another as they attempt to age-in-place in their...

Neighborhood Walkability, Income, & Physical Activity

Numerous studies show that physical inactivity causes a variety of health problems, and older adults are particularly at risk. Literature has recently emerged regarding the relationship between neighborhood environment and physical activity; however, little of this has focused on older adults. A forthcoming article in Social Science & Medicine suggests that neighborhood design has...