Social activity and health among older adults

English title: Social activity and health among older adults

Author(s): Alexandra Makai - Viktória Prémusz - Kata Füge - Mária Figler - Kinga Lampek -

Language: English

Type: Conference paper/poster

Year: 2014


Social activity is closely correlated with health, in addition to other social deteminants of health as education, occupation, healthy lifestyle; consequently, social activity is an important factor. Social activity associates with better health among older adults, which is, therefore, one of the remarkable factors of successful and healthy aging. In our research we examined the relationship between self-reported health and social activity among older adults aged more than 50 (N=700). Our data were taken from the 5th round of Europian Social Survey (2010/2011). To analyse the data, we worked with SPSS 20 program, and we used a test. To measure social activity, we proposed the following questions regarding the respondents’ self-reported health: how often do they meet friends, relatives or work colleagues? Do they have anyone with whom they can discuss intimate and personal matters? How often do they think they take part in social activities compared to other people of their age? In our research 29,8% of older adults reported bad or very bad health status (male: 24,35%, female:33,8%), 25% lived alone in one household, 71,4% were retired, and 46,6% said that living on their income is difficult or very difficult. Our examination provides evidence that self-reported health is significantly associated with social activity (?1=-0,252 p=0,000,C2=0,142 p=0,007?3=-0,364 p=0,000). Our main findings are the following: 41,5% of our target group meet friends, relatives or colleagues less than once a month, most of them have somebody to talk to about intimate matters, and 60% think that they take part in social activities less than people of the same age. Based on our findings, social activity of our target group is poor, although it would be beneficial for their health status. This association has an important role according to the buffer hypothesis, which says that people with low socio-economic position can use social capital to reduce the negative impact of low economic positions on their health (Uphoff 2013). In our further research we would like to examine health status and social activity with multiple regression analyse with longitudinal data. Keywords: social activity, ESS, older adults, health

Conference name: Népegészségügyi Képzo- és Kutatóhelyek Országos Egyesületének VIII. Konferenciája

Location: Nyíregyháza, Hungary

Start date: Aug 27, 2014

Type: Poster