Engagement and social capital as elements of active ageing: an analysis of older europeans

Author/s Howard Litwin, Kimberly J. Stoeckel
Publishing Year 2015 Issue 2014/3 Language English
Pages 23 P. 9-31 File size 137 KB
DOI 10.3280/SP2014-003002
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

This study addresses the relative contribution of social capital and engagement in activity to life satisfaction and quality of life among older Europeans. It examines data from respondents aged 50 and older from the fourth wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (N=57,234). Employing hierarchical OLS regressions, the findings show that social network ties and activity participation are both related to positive well-being. However, consideration of their interaction reveals that the association between activity participation and well-being varies according to the extent of social capital. Respondents without meaningful social ties benefit most from engagement in a greater diversity of activities. In contrast, respondents with a greater number of social ties experience relatively fewer gains in well-being from activity participation. Thus, it may not be activity, per se, that improves the quality of late life, but rather the social components of the activities in which older adults are involved.

Keywords: Social Network; Engagement; Well-being; CASP; SHARE.

  1. Abdullah, B. and Wolbring, G. 2013. Analysis of Newspaper Coverage Of Active Aging Through the Lens Of The 2002 World Health Organization Active Ageing Report: a Policy Framework and the 2010 Toronto Charter For Physical Activity: A Global Call for Action. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 10: pp. 6799-6819.
  2. Adams, K. B., Leibbrandt, S. and Moon, H.. 2011. A Critical Review of the Literature on Social And Leisure Activity and Wellbeing in Later Life. Ageing & Society 31: pp. 683-712.
  3. Baker, L. A., Cahalin, L. P., Gerst, K. and Burr, J. A.. 2005. Productive Activities and Subjective Well-Being among Older Adults: the Influence of Number of Activities and Time Commitment. Social Indicators Research 73: pp. 431-458.
  4. Bartolini, S., Bilancini, E. and Sarracino, F. 2013. Predicting the Trend of Well-Being in Germany: How Much Do Comparisons, Adaptation and Sociability Matter? Social Indicators Research 114: pp. 169-191.
  5. Berg, A. I., Hassing, L. B., McClearn, G. E. and Johansson, B. 2006. What Matters for Life Satisfaction In The Oldest-Old? Aging & Mental Health 10: pp. 257-264.
  6. Bowling, A. 2008. Enhancing Later Life: How Older People Perceive Active Ageing? Aging & Mental Health 12: pp. 293-301.
  7. 2009. Perceptions of Active Ageing in Britain: Divergences Between Minority Ethnic and Whole Population Samples. Age and Ageing 38: pp. 703-710.
  8. Bowling, A. and Browne, P. D. 1991. Social Networks, Health, And Emotional Well-Being Among the Oldest in London. Journals of Gerontology 46: pp. S20-S32.
  9. Chatzitheochari, S. and Arber, S. 2011. Identifying the Third Agers: an Analysis of British Retirees’ Leisure Pursuits. Sociological Research Online 16.
  10. Chodzko-Zajko, W. and Schwingel, A. 2009. Transnational Strategies for the Promotion of Physical Activity and Active Aging: the World Health Organization Model of Consensus Building in International Public Health. Quest 61: pp. 25-38.
  11. Cornwell, B., Schumm, L. P., Laumann, E. O. and Graber, J. 2009. Social Networks in the NSHAP Study: Rationale, Measurement, and Preliminary Findings Journals of Gerontology Series B-Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 64: pp. I47-I55.
  12. Cramm, J. M., van Dijk, H. M., and Nieboer, A. P. 2013. The Importance of Neighborhood Social Cohesion and Social Capital for the Well Being of Older Adults in the Community. Gerontologist 53: pp. 142-150.
  13. Elgar, F. J., Davis, C. G., Wohl, M. J., Trites, S. J., Zelenski, J. M. and Martin, M. S. 2011. Social Capital, Health and Life Satisfaction in 50 Countries. Health & Place 17: pp. 1044-1053.
  14. Foster, L. and Walker, A. 2013. Gender and Active Ageing in Europe. European Journal of Ageing 10: pp. 3-10. Garcia, E. L., Banegas, J. R., Perez-Regadera, A. G., Cabrera, R. and Rodriguez-Artalejo, F. 2005. Social Network and Health-Related Quality of Life in Older Adults: a Population-Based Study in Spain. Quality of Life Research 14: pp. 511-520.
  15. George, L. K. 2010. Still Happy after all these Years: Research Frontiers on Subjective Well-Being in Later Life. Journals of Gerontology Series BPsychological Sciences and Social Sciences 65: pp. 331-339.
  16. Gray, A. 2009. The Social Capital of Older People. Ageing & Society 29: pp. 5-31.
  17. Hao, Y. N. 2008. Productive Activities and Psychological Well-Being among Older Adults. Journals of Gerontology Series B-Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 63: pp. S64-S72.
  18. Jenkins, K. R., Pienta, A. M. and Horgas, A. L. 2002. Activity and Health-Related Quality of Life in Continuing Care Retirement Communities. Research on Aging 24: pp. 124-149.
  19. Lemon, B. W., Bengtson, V. L. and Peterson, J. A. 1972. Exploration of Activity Theory of Aging - Activity Types and Life Satisfaction among In-Movers to a Retirement Community. Journals Of Gerontology 27: pp. 511-523.
  20. Litwin, H. 1996. The Social Networks Of Older People: A Cross-National Analysis. Westport, CT and London: Praeger.
  21. 2000. Activity, Social Network and Well-Being: an Empirical Examination. Canadian Journal on Aging-Revue Canadienne Du Vieillissement 19: pp. 343-362.
  22. 2010. Social Networks and Well-Being: a Comparison of Older People in Mediterranean and Non-Mediterranean Countries. Journals of Gerontology Series B-Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 65: pp. 599-608.
  23. Litwin, H. and Shiovitz-Ezra, S. 2006. The Association between Activity and Wellbeing in Later Life: What really Matters? Ageing & Society 26: pp. 225-242.
  24. Litwin, H. and Stoeckel, K. J. 2013. Social Networks and Subjective Wellbeing among Older Europeans: does Age make a Difference? Ageing & Society 33: pp. 1263-1281.
  25. Litwin, H., Stoeckel, K. J., Roll, A., Shiovitz-Ezra, S. and Kotte, M. 2013. Social Network Measurement in SHARE Wave 4. In F. Malter and A. Börsch-Supan, eds., SHARE Wave 4: Innovations & Methodology, pp. 18-37.
  26. Munich: MEA, Max-Planck-Institute for Social Law and Social Policy. McAuley, E., Konopack, J. F., Motl, R. W., Morris, K. S., Doerksen, S. E. andRosengren, K. R. 2006. Physical Activity and Quality of Life in Older Adults: Influence of Health Status and Self-Efficacy. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 31: pp. 99-103.
  27. Netuveli, G., Wiggins, R. D., Hildon, Z., Montgomery, S. M. and Blane, D. 2006.
  28. Quality of Life at Older Ages: Evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (Wave 1). Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 60: pp. 357-363. Pinquart, M. and Sorensen, S. 2000. Influences of Socioeconomic Status, Social Network, and Competence on Subjective Well-Being in Later Life: a Meta-Analysis. Psychology and Aging 15: pp. 187-224.
  29. Sun, F., Norman, I. J. and While, A. E. 2013. Physical Activity in Older People: a Systematic Review. BMC Public Health 13.
  30. Theurer, K. and Wister, A. 2010. Altruistic Behaviour and Social Capital as Predictors of Well-Being among Older Canadians. Ageing & Society 30: pp. 157-181.
  31. Wahrendorf, M. and Siegrist, J. 2010. Are Changes in Productive Activities of Older People Associated with Changes in their Well-Being? Results of a Longitudinal European Study. European Journal of Ageing 7: pp. 59-68.
  32. Walker, A. 2009. Commentary: The Emergence and Application of Active Aging in Europe. Journal of Aging & Social Policy 21: pp. 75-93.
  33. Walker, A. and Maltby, T. 2012. Active Ageing: a Strategic Policy Solution to Demographic Ageing in the European Union. International Journal of Social Welfare 21: pp. S117-S130.
  34. Wiggins, R. D., Netuveli, G., Hyde, Higgs, M., P. and Blane, D. 2008. The Evaluation of a Self-Enumerated Scale of Quality of Life (CASP-19) in the Context of Research on Ageing: a Combination of Exploratory and Confirmatory Approaches. Social Indicators Research 89: pp. 61-77.

  • Anziani giovani tra activity e fragilità: sfide e risorse connesse all'allungamento della v Donatella Bramanti, Stefania Giada Meda, in SALUTE E SOCIETÀ 1/2015 pp.135
    DOI: 10.3280/SES2016-001010
  • Relationship Between Health Literacy and Unhealthy Lifestyle Behaviours in Older Adults Living in Switzerland: Does Social Connectedness Matter? Maud Wieczorek, Clément Meier, Matthias Kliegel, Jürgen Maurer, in International Journal of Public Health 1606210/2023
    DOI: 10.3389/ijph.2023.1606210
  • Health impact of providing informal care in Portugal Fátima Barbosa, Gina Voss, Alice Delerue Matos, in BMC Geriatrics 440/2020
    DOI: 10.1186/s12877-020-01841-z
  • Are Loneliness and Social Isolation Associated with Quality of Life in Older Adults? Insights from Northern and Southern Europe Giorgi Beridze, Alba Ayala, Oscar Ribeiro, Gloria Fernández-Mayoralas, Carmen Rodríguez-Blázquez, Vicente Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Fermina Rojo-Pérez, Maria João Forjaz, Amaia Calderón-Larrañaga, in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health /2020 pp.8637
    DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17228637
  • The Protective Role of the Internet in Depression for Europeans Aged 50+ Living Alone Patrícia Silva, Alice Delerue Matos, Roberto Martinez-Pecino, in Social Media + Society /2022 pp.205630512210776
    DOI: 10.1177/20563051221077675
  • Active Aging: Social Entrepreneuring in Local Communities of Five European Countries Marco Socci, David Clarke, Andrea Principi, in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health /2020 pp.2440
    DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17072440
  • Can the internet mitigate the negative effect of widowhood on Quality of Life? A gender analysis Patrícia Silva, Raquel Gonçalves, Ricardina Magalhães, Alice Delerue Matos, in Journal of Population Ageing /2023 pp.679
    DOI: 10.1007/s12062-022-09373-7
  • Social participation patterns and their associations with health and well-being for older adults Kathryn Dawson-Townsend, in SSM - Population Health 100424/2019 pp.100424
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2019.100424
  • Association between formal social participation and cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults: a longitudinal study using SHARE data Cláudia Cunha, Paula Rodrigues, Gina Voss, Roberto Martinez-Pecino, Alice Delerue-Matos, in Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition /2024 pp.1
    DOI: 10.1080/13825585.2024.2315769

Howard Litwin, Kimberly J. Stoeckel, Engagement and social capital as elements of active ageing: an analysis of older europeans in "SOCIOLOGIA E POLITICHE SOCIALI" 3/2014, pp 9-31, DOI: 10.3280/SP2014-003002