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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 435826, 11 pages
Research Article

Neighborhood Influences on Late Life Cognition in the ACTIVE Study

Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA

Received 2 April 2012; Revised 10 June 2012; Accepted 30 June 2012

Academic Editor: Allison A. M. Bielak

Copyright © 2012 Shannon M. Sisco and Michael Marsiske. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Low neighborhood-level socioeconomic status has been associated with poorer health, reduced physical activity, increased psychological stress, and less neighborhood-based social support. These outcomes are correlates of late life cognition, but few studies have specifically investigated the neighborhood as a unique source of explanatory variance in cognitive aging. This study supplemented baseline cognitive data from the ACTIVE (Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly) study with neighborhood-level data to investigate (1) whether neighborhood socioeconomic position (SEP) predicts cognitive level, and if so, whether it differentially predicts performance in general and specific domains of cognition and (2) whether neighborhood SEP predicts differences in response to short-term cognitive intervention for memory, reasoning, or processing speed. Neighborhood SEP positively predicted vocabulary, but did not predict other general or specific measures of cognitive level, and did not predict individual differences in response to cognitive intervention.