Social Integration Among Older Adults: A Focus on Socio-Demographic and Health Characteristics
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Social integration is a multi-dimensional construct that is instrumental to healthy aging. The current study explores variation in older adults’ social integration based on socio-demographic variation (age, gender, education, marital status, and rurality) and health status (as measured by number of chronic illness and Activities of Daily Living). Participants included 416 older adults (aged 60+) from a small Midwestern metropolitan area. Results from two-stage hierarchical multiple regressions revealed associations between age, education, marital status and rurality and social integration, whereas gender was not associated with overall social integration. Instrumental ADLs were more consistently associated with social integration as compared to chronic health conditions. These findings highlight the multi-faceted nature of social integration in late-life. Implications and future directions are discussed. Keywords: social integration, aging, health.