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Neighborly cohesiveness has documented benefits for health. Furthermore, high perceived neighborhood cohesion offsets the adverse health effects of neighborhood socioeconomic adversity. One potential way neighborhood cohesion influences health is through daily stress processes. The current study uses participants (n = 2022, age 30–84 years) from The Midlife in the United States II and the National Study of Daily Experiences II, collected between 2004 and 2006, to examine this hypothesis using a within-person, daily diary design. We predicted that people who perceive high neighborhood cohesion are exposed to fewer daily stressors, such as interpersonal arguments, lower daily physical symptoms and negative affect, and higher daily positive affect. We also hypothesized that perceptions of neighborhood cohesion buffer decline in affective and physical well-being on days when daily stressors do occur. Results indicate that higher perceived neighborhood cohesion predicts fewer self-reported daily stressors, higher positive affect, lower negative affect, and fewer physical health symptoms. High perceived neighborhood cohesion also buffers the effects of daily stressors on negative affect, even after adjusting for other sources of social support. Results from the present study suggest interventions focusing on neighborhood cohesion may result in improved well-being and may minimize the adverse effect of daily stressors.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Social Science & Medicine. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Social Science & Medicine, volume 96, in 2013.

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