Neighborhood Cohesion, Neighborhood Disorder, and Cardiometabolic Risk

Jennifer W. Robinette, Chapman University
Susan T. Charles, University of California, Irvine
Tara L. Gruenewald, Chapman University

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 198, in 2018.

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Perceptions of neighborhood disorder (trash, vandalism) and cohesion (neighbors trust one another) are related to residents’ health. Affective and behavioral factors have been identified, but often in studies using geographically select samples. We use a nationally representative sample (n = 9032) of United States older adults from the Health and Retirement Study to examine cardiometabolic risk in relation to perceptions of neighborhood cohesion and disorder. Lower cohesion is significantly related to greater cardiometabolic risk in 2006/2008 and predicts greater risk four years later (2010/2012). The longitudinal relation is partially accounted for by anxiety and physical activity.