Latham, K. & Williams, M. M. (2015). “Does neighborhood disorder predict recovery from mobility limitation? Findings from the Health and Retirement Study.” Advance access at Journal of Aging and Health.
Recent research highlights the importance of neighborhood disorder for recovery from mobility limitation (i.e., difficulty walking and climbing stairs). Older adults who reported higher levels of neighborhood disorder (i.e., graffiti/vandalism, vacant/deserted homes, litter, and crime) were less likely to recover from mobility limitation. However, physical activity and psychosocial factors were significant mediators, which suggests neighborhood disorder influences recovery from physical impairment via psychosocial processes and barriers to physical activity.
Reducing neighborhood disorder may enhance older residents’ psychosocial well-being and improve participation in physical activity, thus increasing recovery from mobility limitation and preventing subsequent disability.
Latham, K. (2014). Racial and educational disparities in mobility limitation among older women: What is the role of modifiable risk factors? The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Social Science. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbu028
My recent publication examines whether modifiable risk factors such as smoking status, participation in vigorous physical activity, or body mass index mediates or moderates racial and educational disparities in mobility limitation (i.e., difficulty walking or climbing stairs) among older women. Body mass index was a significant partial mediator for race and mobility limitation–suggesting that higher levels of body mass index among older Black women, relative to older White women, contributes to excess mobility impairment. Another interesting finding highlights racial variation in the effect of modifiable risk factors on mobility limitation; the benefit of vigorous physical activity for preventing mobility limitation varied by race. Physical activity among older Black women was not as advantageous for preventing mobility limitation compared with older White women.