The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between perceived neighborhood stressors, encompassing negative perceived neighborhood characteristics, and specific cognitive abilities in adulthood. We conducted a coordinated analysis across three studies of adults in the United States and found that perceived neighborhood stressors were consistently associated with poorer performance on attention-demanding cognitive tasks. We specifically found that perceived neighborhood stressors were associated with lower performance in spatial abilities, working memory, and executive function but not perceptual speed, and that the effect was most consistent for lower perceived neighborhood safety followed by lower perceived aesthetic quality, greater perceived neighborhood crime, and lower perceived neighborhood cohesion. These results highlight the importance of the psychosocial neighborhood context for cognitive health in adulthood.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Life-span and Life-course Studies