Area deprivation, perceived neighbourhood cohesion and mental health at older ages: a cross lagged analysis of UK longitudinal data
Previous research on neighbourhood influences on older adults’ mental health shows inconsistent evidence for effects of neighbourhood deprivation but stronger evidence for effects of perceived neighbourhood social cohesion, often proposed as a mediator of the link between neighbourhood deprivation and mental well-being. However, it is possible that mental health influences perceptions of neighbourhoods; this has rarely been considered. We use data from a large UK longitudinal study to investigate these associations. Results from cross-lagged models indicate that greater neighbourhood deprivation is associated with worse perceived social cohesion and worse mental health. Associations between change in perceived social cohesion and in mental health were reciprocal-lower perceived cohesion predicted poorer mental health and vice versa. Further research including three waves of data is needed to further unravel underlying directions of association.
Health and Place
Open Access; Under a Creative Commons license