|Continuity and Change in Relationships with Neighbors: Implications for Psychological Well-being in Middle and Later Life
Emily Greenfield and Laurent Reyes
Journal of Gerontology, Series B
|Objectives. There is growing enthusiasm for community initiatives that aim to strengthen neighbor relationships to promote well-being in later life. Nevertheless, few studies have examined the extent to which relationships with neighbors are associated with better psychological well-being among midlife and older adults.|
Methods. We used data from 1,071 noninstitutionalized, English-speaking adults, aged 40–70 years, who participated in both waves of the 1995–2005 National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States. Lagged dependent regression models were estimated to examine associations between changes in two dimensions of neighbor relationships (contact and perceived support) and psychological well-being.
Results. Few associations were found between relationships with neighbors and negative or positive affect. In contrast, having continuously low levels of contact with neighbors, or losing contact with neighbors over the 10-year study period, was associated with declining levels of eudaimonic well-being. Associations between contact and this aspect of well-being were explained, in part, by less perceived support from neighbors.
Discussion. Results suggest that continuity and change in relationships with neighbors is especially important for more developmental aspects of psychological well-being. Implications for future research on the meaning of neighbor relationships and aging in community are discussed.Emily A. Greefield and Laurent Reyes. (2014). "Continuity and Change in Relationships with Neighbors: Implications for Psychological Well-being in Middle and
Later Life." Journal of Gerontology, Series B.