Neighborhood Social Cohesion Partially Mediates the Association Between Seeing People Walk and Leisure-time Walking in Latino Adults
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Seeing others exercise is associated with higher leisure-time (LT) physical activity. However, studies have yet to examine the role of neighborhood social cohesion in the relationship between seeing people walk and LT walking among Latino adults. Therefore, we examined whether neighborhood social cohesion mediates the association between the frequency of seeing people walk within sight of home and walking among Latino adults. We used cross-sectional 2015 National Health Interview Survey data on Latino participants aged 18+ years (n=4,669). Logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between seeing people walk within sight of home and walking level (high and medium versus low). Models were adjusted for age, sex, education, and acculturation proxies (based on nativity, years living in the US). Indirect effects were assessed using bootstrap methods outlined by Preacher and Hayes, to quantify the extent to which neighborhood social cohesion mediates the association of seeing people walk with LT walking. There was a significant total effect b=0.222, CI [0.16, 0.28]; and direct effect b=0.219, CI [0.16,0.28] of seeing people walk on walking engagement. There was a significant indirect effect of seeing people walk on LT walking through neighborhood social cohesion b= 0.005, CI [0.001, 0.01]. Neighborhood social cohesion partially mediated the relationship of seeing people walk and LT walking. Our findings highlight the role of neighborhood social cohesion in walking among Latino adults, and the importance of continuing to promote walkable neighborhoods.