Perceived Neighborhood Environment Associated With Older Adults’ Walking and Positive Affect: Results From the Health and Retirement Study

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
View More View Less
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $77.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $103.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $147.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $196.00

The current study examined how a perceived neighborhood environment was associated with older adults’ walking activity and the experience of positive affect. Study sample comprised 10,700 older adults, aged 65+, sampled from the Health and Retirement Study 2014–2015 in the United States. Results indicated that neighborhood social cohesion was significantly predicting older adults’ walking and positive affect. It was also revealed that walking engagement significantly contributed to the measure of positive affect. However, perceived neighborhood physical disorder did not account for additional variance in walking and positive affect. Final structural model involved three latent factors—neighborhood social cohesion, walking, and positive affect—and the goodness-of-fit indices of the model indicated an acceptable fit to the sample data. Public health and physical activity intervention in the context of neighborhood environment should facilitate social integration and informal social support that the neighborhood creates.

Lee (lee@ftvs.cuni.cz) is with the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University, Prague 6, Czech Republic.

  • Baranyi, G., Sieber, S., Cullati, S., Pearce, J.R., Dibben, C.J., & Courvoisier, D.S. (2020). The longitudinal associations of perceived neighborhood disorder and lack of social cohesion with depression among adults aged 50 years or older: An individual-participant-data meta-analysis from 16 high-income countries. American Journal of Epidemiology, 189(4), 343353. PubMed ID: 31573028 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bromell, L., & Cagney, K.A. (2014). Companionship in the neighborhood context: Older adults’ living arrangements and perceptions of social cohesion. Research on Aging, 36(2), 228243. PubMed ID: 24860203 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brown, S.C., Huang, S., Perrino, T., Surio, P., Borges-Garcia, R., Flavin, K., . . . Szapocznik, J. (2011). The relationship of perceived neighborhood social climate to walking in Hispanic older adults: A longitudinal, cross-lagged panel analysis. Journal of Aging and Health, 23(8), 13251351. PubMed ID: 21885705 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cagney, K.A., Glass, T.A., Skarupski, K.A., Barnes, L.L., Schwartz, B.S., & Mendes de Leon, C.F. (2009). Neighborhood-level cohesion and disorder: Measurement and validation in two older adult urban populations. Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 64(3), 415424. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carrapatoso, S., Silva, P., Colaço, P., & Carvalho, J. (2018). Perceptions of the neighborhood environment associated with walking at recommended intensity and volume levels in recreational senior walkers. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 32(1), 2638. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Choi, Y.J., & Matz-Costa, C. (2018). Perceived neighborhood safety, social cohesion, and psychological health of older adults. The Gerontologist, 58(1), 196206. PubMed ID: 28082279 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chudyk, A.M., McKay, H.A., Winters, M., Sims-Gould, J., & Ashe, M.C. (2017). Neighborhood walkability, physical activity, and walking for transportation: A cross-sectional study of older adults living on low income. BMC Geriatrics, 17(1), 82. PubMed ID: 28395672 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cramm, J.M., Van Dijk, H.M., & Nieboer, A.P. (2013). The importance of neighborhood social cohesion and social capital for the well being of older adults in the community. The Gerontologist, 53(1), 142152. PubMed ID: 22547088 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Davis, C.M., Sentell, T.L., de Souza Barbosa, J.F., Ylli, A., Curcio, C.L., & Pirkle, C.M. (2019). Meeting physical activity guidelines by walking in older adults from three middle-income countries: A cross-sectional analysis from the International Mobility in Aging Study. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 28(3), 333342.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Diener, E., & Chan, M.Y. (2011). Happy people live longer: Subjective well-being contributes to health and longevity. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 3(1), 143. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fisher, K.J., & Li, F. (2004). A community-based walking trial to improve neighborhood quality of life in older adults: A multilevel analysis. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 28(3), 186194. PubMed ID: 15576257 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gonyea, J.G., & Burnes, K. (2013). Aging well at home: Evaluation of a neighborhood-based pilot project to “put connection back into community.” Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 27(4), 333347. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Han, J.H., & Kim, J.H. (2017). Variations in ageing in home and ageing in neighbourhood. Australian Geographer, 48(2), 255272. doi:

  • James, R.N., III, & Sweaney, A.L. (2010). Housing dissatisfaction and cognitive decline in older adults. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 24(1), 93106. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kahlert, D. (2016). Built environment, physical activity and social participation of older people. In S. Selke (Ed.), Lifelogging (pp. 189204). Wiesbaden, Germany: Springer VS.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kline, R.B. (2015). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. New York, NY: Guilford Publications.

  • Ku, P.W., Fox, K.R., & Chen, L.J. (2016). Leisure-time physical activity, sedentary behaviors and subjective well-being in older adults: An eight-year longitudinal research. Social Indicators Research, 127(3), 13491361. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lee, S. (2016). An exploration of antecedents of positive affect among the elderly: A cross-sectional study. The European Journal of Public Health, 26(1), 187191. PubMed ID: 25829500 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Leeson, G.W. (2016). Environment, health and ageing. In D. Sánchez-González & V. Rodríguez-Rodríguez (Eds.), Environmental gerontology in Europe and Latin America (pp. 93104). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Leung, K., & Chung, P. (2020). Associations between social and physical environments and older adults’ walking for transportation and recreation. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 28(1), 2433. PubMed ID: 31188695 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Levasseur, M., Généreux, M., Bruneau, J.F., Vanasse, A., Chabot, É., Beaulac, C., & Bédard, M.M. (2015). Importance of proximity to resources, social support, transportation and neighborhood security for mobility and social participation in older adults: Results from a scoping study. BMC Public Health, 15(1), 503. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maisel, J.L. (2016). Impact of older adults’ neighborhood perceptions on walking behavior. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 24(2), 247255. PubMed ID: 26371520 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mendes de Leon, C.F., Cagney, K.A., Bienias, J.L., Barnes, L.L., Skarupski, K.A., Scherr, P.A., & Evans, D.A. (2009). Neighborhood social cohesion and disorder in relation to walking in community-dwelling older adults: A multilevel analysis. Journal of Aging and Health, 21(1), 155171. PubMed ID: 19144973 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Milligan, C., Payne, S., Bingley, A., & Cockshott, Z. (2015). Place and wellbeing: Shedding light on activity interventions for older men. Ageing & Society, 35(1), 124149. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moran, M.R., Werner, P., Doron, I., HaGani, N., Benvenisti, Y., King, A.C., . . . Ergon, S. (2017). Exploring the objective and perceived environmental attributes of older adults’ neighborhood walking routes: A mixed methods analysis. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 25(3), 420431. PubMed ID: 27992252 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Norstrand, J.A., Glicksman, A., Lubben, J., & Kleban, M. (2013). The role of the social environment on physical and mental health of older adults. In G.D. Rowles & M.A. Bernard (Eds.),  Environmental gerontology: Making meaningful places in old age (pp. 322339). New York, NY: Springer.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ory, M.G., Towne, S.D., Won, J., Forjuoh, S.N., & Lee, C. (2016). Social and environmental predictors of walking among older adults. BMC Geriatrics, 16(1), 155. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Paterson, T.S., Yeung, S.E., & Thornton, W.L. (2016). Positive affect predicts everyday problem-solving ability in older adults. Aging & Mental Health, 20(8), 871879. PubMed ID: 26033072 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Prins, R.G., Kamphuis, C.B.M., De Graaf, J.M., Oenema, A., & van Lenthe, F.J. (2016). Physical and social environmental changes to promote walking among Dutch older adults in deprived neighbourhoods: The NEW.ROADS study. BMC Public Health, 16(1), 907. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Raudsepp, L., & Riso, E.M. (2017). Longitudinal association between objectively measured walking and depressive symptoms among Estonian older adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 25(4), 639645. PubMed ID: 28338399 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rios, R., Aiken, L.S., & Zautra, A.J. (2012). Neighborhood contexts and the mediating role of neighborhood social cohesion on health and psychological distress among Hispanic and non-Hispanic residents. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 43(1), 5061. PubMed ID: 22037963 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ruiz, M., Malyutina, S., Pajak, A., Kozela, M., Kubinova, R., & Bobak, M. (2019). Congruent relations between perceived neighbourhood social cohesion and depressive symptoms among older European adults: An East-West analysis. Social Science & Medicine, 237, 112454. PubMed ID: 31376532 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schorr, A.V., & Khalaila, R. (2018). Aging in place and quality of life among the elderly in Europe: A moderated mediation model. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 77, 196204. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tucker-Seeley, R.D., Subramanian, S.V., Li, Y., & Sorensen, G. (2009). Neighborhood safety, socioeconomic status, and physical activity in older adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 37(3), 207213. PubMed ID: 19595554 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tully, M.A., Cunningham, C., Cupples, M.E., Farrell, D., Hardeman, W., Hunter, R.F., . . . Simpson, E.E. (2018). Walk with Me: A protocol for a pilot RCT of a peer-led walking programme to increase physical activity in inactive older adults. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 4(1), 117. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Van Cauwenberg, J., De Donder, L., Clarys, P., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Buffel, T., De Witte, N., . . . Deforche, B. (2014). Relationships between the perceived neighborhood social environment and walking for transportation among older adults. Social Science & Medicine, 104, 2330. PubMed ID: 24581058 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • van Uffelen, J.G., Paw, M.J.C.A., Hopman-Rock, M., & van Mechelen, W. (2007). The effect of walking and vitamin B supplementation on quality of life in community-dwelling adults with mild cognitive impairment: A randomized, controlled trial. Quality of Life Research, 16(7), 11371146. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Verma, I., & Huttunen, H. (2015). Elderly-friendly neighborhoods: Case Lauttasaari. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 29(1–2), 92110. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Watson, D., & Clark, L.A. (1994). The PANAS-X: Manual for the positive and negative affect schedule—Expansion form. Iowa City: University of Iowa. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yu, R., Cheung, O., Lau, K., & Woo, J. (2017). Associations between perceived neighborhood walkability and walking time, wellbeing, and loneliness in community-dwelling older Chinese people in Hong Kong. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(10), 1199. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yun, H.Y. (2019). Environmental factors associated with older adult’s walking behaviors: A systematic review of quantitative studies. Sustainability, 11(12), 3253. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhang, Z., & Zhang, J. (2017). Perceived residential environment of neighborhood and subjective well-being among the elderly in China: A mediating role of sense of community. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 51, 8294. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 362 362 148
Full Text Views 12 12 2
PDF Downloads 8 8 2