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Main Title: Associations between Neighborhood Characteristics, Well-Being and Health Vary over the Life Course
Author(s): Eibich, Peter
Krekel, Christian
Demuth, Ilja
Wagner, Gert G.
Type: Article
Language Code: en
Abstract: Background: Neighborhood characteristics are important determinants of individual health and well-being. For example, characteristics such as noise and pollution affect health directly, while other characteristics affect health and well-being by either providing resources (e.g. social capital in the neighborhood), which individuals can use to cope with health problems, or limiting the use thereof (e.g. crime). This also suggests that there might be age differentials in the impact of these characteristics, since individuals at different stages of life might need different resources. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence on age differentials in associations between well-being, health, and neighborhood characteristics. Objective: This paper studies associations between a wide range of neighborhood characteristics with the health and well-being of residents of the greater Berlin area. In particular, we focus on differences in the effects between younger (aged 20-35) and older (aged 60+) residents. Methods: We used data from the Berlin Aging Study II (312 younger and 993 older residents of the Berlin metropolitan area in Germany). We used survey data on health and well-being, combined these with subjective perceptions of the neighborhood, and geo-referenced indicators on the neighborhood, e.g. amenities (public transport, physicians, and hospitals). Results: The results show that access to public transportation is associated with better outcomes on all measures of health and well-being, and social support is associated with higher life satisfaction and better mental health. There are considerable differences between both age groups: while the associations between access to public transport and health and well-being are similar for both age groups, neighborhood social capital shows stronger associations for older residents. However, the difference is not always statistically significant. Conclusion: Having access to services is associated with better health and well-being regardless of age. Local policy makers should focus on lowering barriers to mobility in order to improve the health and well-being of the population. Since the social capital of a neighborhood is associated with better health and well-being among older residents, investments that increase social capital (e.g. community centers) might be warranted in neighborhoods with higher shares of older residents.
Issue Date: 2016
Date Available: 26-Oct-2017
DDC Class: 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Subject(s): health
neighborhood amenities
Berlin aging study II
Sponsor/Funder: BMBF, 16SV5537, Berliner Altersstudie II - BASE II - ; Teilvorhaben: Survey Methodik und Sozialwissenschaft
BMBF, 16SV5536K, Berliner Altersstudie II - BASE II - ; Teilvorhaben: Innere Medizin/Geriatrie
Journal Title: Gerontology
Publisher: Karger
Publisher Place: Basel, München
Volume: 62
Issue: 3
Publisher DOI: 10.1159/000438700
Page Start: 362
Page End: 370
EISSN: 1423-0003
ISSN: 0304-324X
Notes: Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.
Appears in Collections:FG Empirische Wirtschaftsforschung und Wirtschaftspolitik » Publications

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