Perceived neighborhood environment affecting physical and mental health: A study with Korean American older adults in New York City

Soonhee Roh, Yuri Jang, David A. Chiriboga, Kyung Hwa Kwag, Sunhee Cho, Kunsook Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined how subjective perceptions of the neighborhood environment (e.g., perceived ethnic density, safety, social cohesion, and satisfaction) influenced the physical and mental health of Korean American older adults. Using data from 420 residents of the New York City metropolitan area (M age = 71.6, SD = 7.59), health perceptions and depressive symptoms were estimated with hierarchical regression models entered in the order of (1) demographics and acculturation, (2) health-related variables, and (3) perceived neighborhood environment. After controlling for the effects of the individual-level variables, perceived neighborhood environment was found to make a significant contribution to both outcomes. Individuals less satisfied with their overall neighborhood environment were more likely to have negative perceptions of health and depressive symptoms. A strong linkage between perceived neighborhood safety and depressive symptoms was also observed. Findings from the study highlight the importance of subjective evaluations of neighborhood environment and provide implications for health promotion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1005-1012
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Keywords

  • Health
  • Korean American older adults
  • Perceived neighborhood environment

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