Neighborhood socioeconomic conditions are associated with psychosocial functioning in older black and white adults

Health Place. 2011 May;17(3):793-800. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.02.007. Epub 2011 Mar 21.


We examined neighborhood socioeconomic status (NSES) in relation to depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and hostility in 5770 community-dwelling older black and white adults (mean age=73 years; 62% female) from 3 contiguous neighborhoods covering 82 census block groups in Chicago, IL. NSES was an average of z-scores of four Census 2000 block-group variables: % public assistance, % households earning <$25,000 annually, % with >college degree, and % owner-occupied dwellings valued >$200,000. NSES was inversely related to hostility (beta=-0.305), stress (beta=-0.333), and depressive symptoms (beta=-0.223) (p<0.001) in multi-level mixed-effects regression models adjusted for age, sex, race, and the number of years in the neighborhood. With further adjustment for education, income, marital status, and health conditions, NSES remained associated with depressive symptoms (beta=-0.078) and hostility (beta=-0.133) (p<0.05); the association with hostility was strongest in non-black neighborhoods. Neighborhood social conditions contribute to the psychosocial well-being of older residents; research is needed to investigate pathways through which neighborhoods influence health outcomes in an aging population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chicago
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Social Class*