Background: Healthy aging requires support from local built and social environments. Using latent profile analysis, this study captured the multidimensionality of the built environment and examined relations between objective and perceived built environment profiles, neighborhood social cohesion and quality of life among seniors. Methods: In total, 693 participants aged 66-97 were sampled from two US locales in 2005-2008 as part of the Senior Neighborhood Quality of Life Study (SNQLS). Perceived social cohesion and quality of life were assessed using validated surveys. Six objective (geographic information system (GIS)-based) and seven perceived built environment latent profiles generated in previous SNQLS publications were used for analyses. Mixed-effects models estimated social cohesion and quality of life separately as a function of the built environment profiles. Results: More walkable and destination-rich perceived built environment profiles were associated with higher social cohesion and quality of life. Objective built environment profiles were not associated with social cohesion and only positively associated with quality of life in only one locale (Baltimore/DC). Conclusions: Latent profile analysis offered a comprehensive approach to assessing the built environment. Seniors who perceived their neighborhoods to be highly walkable and recreationally dense experienced higher neighborhood social cohesion and quality of life, which may set the stage for healthier aging.
- older people
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health