Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Environmental and Occupational Health

First Committee Member

Courtney Coughenour

Second Committee Member

Jennifer Pharr

Third Committee Member

Sheila Clark

Fourth Committee Member

Ian Mcdonough

Number of Pages



As Americans are living longer, there has been exponential growth in the number of older adults. Growth in the aging population has created unique challenges. As seniors age, they face many changes in their health, financial stability, and lifestyle, making it challenging to remain independent. The inability to remain independent can be a stressful and depressing experience for older adults. Studies show that most seniors prefer to stay in their current living environment as they age, or age in place, rather than move into senior housing or other available housing options designed for aging. This study investigates how perceptions about built environment features that facilitate aging in place differ among seniors who live in age-restricted communities (n=589) compared to those who do not live in age-restricted communities (n=46). Chi-Square test of association revealed that perceptions differ for these three built environment features: amenities within walking distance (p = 0.026; χ2= 4.945), safety from crime (p = 0.003; χ2= 8.770), and safety from traffic (p = 0.001; χ2= 0.001), with those living in non-age-restricted communities more likely to perceive amenities within walking distance and safety from crime and traffic. Binary logistic regression models examining factors associated with perceptions of built environment attributes that facilitate aging in place were statistically significant (p≤0.05) for all eight built environment features. Statistically significant factors found in most models were connection to the community, ambulatory disability, non-age restricted communities, and loneliness. Public health professionals working with older adults should target interventions aimed at improving loneliness and community connections, as they may facilitate aging in place. Additionally, particular attention should be paid to the needs of older adults with a disability so that they may also be able to age in place. Future studies should aim to better understand the most effective way to address these issues.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Geriatrics | Public Health | Urban, Community and Regional Planning | Urban Studies | Urban Studies and Planning

File Format


File Size

1200 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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