Dr. Yanping Jiang, core faculty member at the Center for Population Behavioral Health and instructor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, recently published new research.
The article, entitled “Residential Segregation, Perceived Neighborhood Environment, and All-Cause Mortality Among Community-Dwelling Older Chinese Americans,” was published in The Journals of Gerontology: Series B in September 2023.
Residential segregation profoundly affects mental and physical health. However, impacts of residential segregation and other neighborhood characteristics on health among older Asian Americans are not fully understood. This study aimed to close this gap by examining effects of residential segregation, perceived neighborhood cohesion, and neighborhood disorder on all-cause mortality among older Chinese immigrants, as well as testing whether the association between residential segregation and mortality would be mediated by perceived neighborhood cohesion and neighborhood disorder.
Data were drawn from a subsample of 3,094 older Chinese Americans aged 60 and older (mean age = 72.8 years) from the Population Study of Chinese Elderly in Chicago. Residential segregation was derived using 2010–2014 American Community Survey data. Participants completed surveys on perceived neighborhood cohesion and neighborhood disorder between 2011 and 2013. All-cause mortality was tracked until December 2021.
Residential segregation was associated with elevated all-cause mortality risk; this association, however, was no longer statistically significant after controlling for sociodemographic, behavioral, and health covariates. Perceived neighborhood cohesion, but not neighborhood disorder, was significantly associated with decreased mortality risks. There were no indirect effects of residential segregation on all-cause mortality through perceived neighborhood cohesion or neighborhood disorder. These effects were consistent across male and female participants.
These results suggest the importance of neighborhood social environment, specifically perceptions of neighborhood cohesion, in influencing mortality risk among older Chinese immigrants. The findings also indicate the need to conduct further research to examine the health impact of residential segregation among this population.