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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2009 May;64(3):415-24. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbn041. Epub 2009 Mar 2.

Neighborhood-level cohesion and disorder: measurement and validation in two older adult urban populations.

Author information

1
Department of Health Studies, The University of Chicago, 5841 South Maryland Avenue, MC 2007, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. k-cagney@uchicago.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Drawing from collective efficacy and social disorganization theories, we developed and validated measures of neighborhood-level social processes.

METHODS:

Data came from 2 large, population-based cohort studies of urban-dwelling older adults, the Chicago Neighborhood and Disability Study (CNDS, n = 3,882) and the Baltimore Memory Study (BMS, n = 1,140). Data on neighborhood social processes were collected from residents using a standardized instrument identical in the 2 studies. We used confirmatory factor analysis and descriptive statistics to explore reliability and validity of the neighborhood-level measures.

RESULTS:

Confirmatory factor analysis indicated 2 latent factors: social cohesion and exchange (i.e., observations of and interactions with neighbors) and social and physical disorder (i.e., neighborhood problems and unsafe conditions). Neighborhood-level measures of cohesion and disorder showed moderate to high levels of internal consistency (alphas = .78 and .85 in CNDS and .60 and .88 in BMS). Inter-resident agreements were low (intra-neighborhood correlation coefficients = .08 and .11 in CNDS and .05 and .33 in BMS). Cohesion showed a modest, positive association with a composite measure of neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES). Disorder showed a strong, negative association with neighborhood SES.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings provide initial evidence of the reliability and construct validity of these neighborhood-level social process measures.

PMID:
19255089
PMCID:
PMC2670251
DOI:
10.1093/geronb/gbn041
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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