Does Neighborhood Disorder Predict Recovery From Mobility Limitation? Findings From the Health and Retirement Study

J Aging Health. 2015 Dec;27(8):1415-42. doi: 10.1177/0898264315584328. Epub 2015 May 7.


Objective: This research explores whether perceptions of physical neighborhood disorder predict recovery from mobility limitation over a 2-year period and examines whether psychosocial factors (i.e., depressive symptomology and mastery) and physical activity are salient mediators.

Method: Using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS): Participant Lifestyle Questionnaire (2008-2010), odds ratio estimates of recovery were ascertained using binary logistic regression, and post hoc Sobel tests were conducted to formally assess mediation.

Results: Net of demographic characteristics and socioeconomic status, increased neighborhood disorder was associated with lower odds of recovery. However, both psychosocial indicators and physical activity were significant individual partial mediators, which suggest neighborhood disorder influences recovery from physical impairment via psychosocial processes and barriers to physical activity.

Discussion: Reducing neighborhood disorder may enhance older residents' psychosocial well-being and improve participation in physical activity, thus increasing recovery from mobility limitation and preventing subsequent disability.

Keywords: Health and Retirement Study; aging; disability; mobility limitation; neighborhood disorder; recovery.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Mobility Limitation*
  • Motor Activity
  • Recovery of Function*
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States