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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 3; doi:10.3390/ijerph13010003

Improving the Neighborhood Environment for Urban Older Adults: Social Context and Self-Rated Health

1
Institute of Public Health, Florida A&M University, 1515 MLK Boulevard, Tallahassee, FL 32307, USA
2
Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences, University of Colorado Denver, P.O. Box 173364, CB 188, Denver, CO 80217, USA
3
Prevention Research Center of Michigan, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 1420 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mark Edberg, Barbara E. Hayes, Valerie Montgomery Rice and Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 17 July 2015 / Revised: 16 October 2015 / Accepted: 11 November 2015 / Published: 22 December 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [460 KB, uploaded 22 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

Objective: By 2030, older adults will account for 20% of the U.S. population. Over 80% of older adults live in urban areas. This study examines associations between neighborhood environment and self-rated health (SRH) among urban older adults. Methods: We selected 217 individuals aged 65+ living in a deindustrialized Midwestern city who answered questions on the 2009 Speak to Your Health survey. The relationship between neighborhood environment and self-rated health (SRH) was analyzed using regression and GIS models. Neighborhood variables included social support and participation, perceived racism and crime. Additional models included actual crime indices to compare differences between perceived and actual crime. Results: Seniors who have poor SRH are 21% more likely to report fear of crime than seniors with excellent SRH (p = 0.01). Additional analyses revealed Black seniors are 7% less likely to participate in social activities (p = 0.005) and 4% more likely to report experiencing racism (p < 0.001). Discussion: Given the increasing numbers of older adults living in urban neighborhoods, studies such as this one are important for well-being among seniors. Mitigating environmental influences in the neighborhood which are associated with poor SRH may allow urban older adults to maintain health and reduce disability. View Full-Text
Keywords: neighborhoods; older adults; urban health; social capital; crime neighborhoods; older adults; urban health; social capital; crime
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mathis, A.; Rooks, R.; Kruger, D. Improving the Neighborhood Environment for Urban Older Adults: Social Context and Self-Rated Health. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 3.

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