Peng, C., Han, S. H., & Burr, J. A. (2022). Perceptions of Childhood Neighborhood Social Cohesion and Cognitive Function in Middle and Late Adulthood. The Gerontologist.

Background and Objectives Framed within the life course perspective andthe neighborhood stress model, this study investigated the associationbetween perceptions of childhood neighborhood social cohesion and cognitivefunction among middle-aged and older Chinese adults. We also examined whethergender, childhood hukou status, the Chinese national administrative householdregistration system, and birth cohort moderated the association. ResearchDesign and Methods This study used 3 waves of nationally representative datafrom the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (2011-2015; N =11,469). Cognitive function was measured with the Telephone Interview forCognition Status instrument. Two-level multilevel modeling was employed toaddress the research questions. Results A higher overall level of childhoodneighborhood social cohesion was associated with a higher baseline level ofcognitive function (b = 0.26, p <.001) and a slower rate of cognitive decline(b = 0.10, p =.010). Birth cohort membership moderated the linkage betweenchildhood neighborhood social cohesion and the level of cognitive function (b= 0.35, p <.001) and cognitive decline (b = 0.19, p =.014). Gender andchildhood hukou status did not moderate these associations. Discussion andImplications These findings underscored the long-term ramifications ofchildhood conditions for later-life cognitive function. Social cohesion atthe neighborhood level during childhood may be a factor that promotes healthycognitive aging.