Using validated measures of individuals’ perceptions of their neighborhood built environment is important for accurately estimating effects on physical activity. However, no studies to date have examined the factorial validity of a measure of perceived neighborhood environment among older adults in the United States. The purpose of this measurement study was to test the factorial validity of a version of the Abbreviated Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS-A) modified for seniors in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS).


A random sample of 2,920 female nurses (mean age = 73 ± 7 years) in the NHS cohort from California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania completed a 36-item modified NEWS-A for seniors. Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to test measurement models for both the modified NEWS-A for seniors and the original NEWS-A. Internal consistency within factors was examined using Cronbach’s alpha. The hypothesized 7-factor measurement model was a poor fit for the modified NEWS-A for seniors. Overall, the best-fitting measurement model was the original 6-factor solution to the NEWS-A. Factors were correlated and internally consistent.


This study provided support for the construct validity of the original NEWS-A for assessing perceptions of neighborhood environments in older women in the United States.



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Published by BioMed Central.

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