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The relationship of neighborhood climate to perceived social support and mental health in older Hispanic immigrants in Miami, Florida

TitleThe relationship of neighborhood climate to perceived social support and mental health in older Hispanic immigrants in Miami, Florida
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsBrown, SC, Mason, CA, Spokane, AR, Cruza-Guet, MC, Lopez, B, Szapocznik, J
JournalJ Aging HealthJ Aging Health
Volume21
Pagination431-59
Date PublishedJun
ISBN Number0898-2643 (Print)<br/>0898-2643 (Linking)
Accession Number19318605
KeywordsAdaptation, Psychological, Aged, Aged, 80 and Over, Anxiety/psychology, Cognition Disorders/psychology, Depression/psychology, Emigrants and Immigrants/ psychology, Female, Florida, Hispanic Americans/ psychology, Humans, Male, Mental Health, Models, Psychological, Residence Characteristics, Self Concept, Social Environment, Social Support, Stress, Psychological, Urban Population
AbstractOBJECTIVE: This study examines the relationship of neighborhood climate (i.e., neighborhood social environment) to perceived social support and mental health outcomes in older Hispanic immigrants. METHOD: A population-based sample of 273 community-dwelling older Hispanic immigrants (aged 70 to 100) in Miami, Florida, completed self-report measures of neighborhood climate, social support, and psychological distress and performance-based measures of cognitive functioning. Structural equation modeling was used to model the relationship of neighborhood climate to elders' perceived social support and mental health outcomes (i.e., cognitive functioning, psychological distress). RESULTS: Neighborhood climate had a significant direct relationship to cognitive functioning, after controlling for demographics. By contrast, neighborhood climate had a significant indirect relationship to psychological distress, through its relationship to perceived social support. Moreover, social support mediated the relationship between neighborhood climate and psychological distress. DISCUSSION: Findings suggest that a more positive neighborhood social environment may be associated with better mental health outcomes in urban, older Hispanic immigrants.