Associations of Subjective Memory with Life Space and Neighborhood Built Environment in Older Adults in the ACTIVE Study

Gail Wallace, Tyler Bell, Sheila Black, Michael Crowe, Roland J. Thorpe, Caitlin Pope, George W. Rebok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: To investigate the longitudinal association of life space and neighborhood and built environment (NBE) with subjective memory among individuals 65 and older, and the mediating role of depressive symptoms, a major correlate of life space mobility, NBE, and subjective memory. Methods: We examined community-dwelling participants in the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly study (N = 2,622, Mean age = 73.7 years, 24.9% Black) across annual assessments of up to 3 years. Results: Baseline life space and NBE were positively associated with subjective memory, and these associations were partly mediated by depressive symptoms. Over time, higher baseline life space predicted a better subjective memory as one aged. Life space was concurrently associated with subjective memory across time, mediated by concurrent depressive symptoms. Discussion: Potentially modifiable environmental factors such as life space and NBE appear to influence level and change in subjective memory as we age. Interventions supporting movement in our environments may help offset subjective memory problems, a potential early sign of dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • depressive symptoms
  • life space
  • neighborhood and built environment
  • subjective memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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