The Social Connectedness of Older Europeans: Patterns, dynamics and contexts
Title: The Social Connectedness of Older Europeans: Patterns, dynamics and contexts
Citation: Journal of European Social Policy, 2009, 19, 4, 327-340
Using longitudinal data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), our article shows that the population aged 50 or older is socially connected in several ways. The various dimensions of social connectedness turn out to be complementary rather than substitutive, except for the relationship between informal social relations and family relations, which tends to be characterized by substitution. Our longitudinal analysis reveals that the dynamics of formal and informal social relations as well as family relations tend to be driven by individuals’ resources and needs. While the associations between elders’ social connectedness and individual characteristics are very similar across countries, we find significant regional variation regarding the levels and the dynamics of social connectedness.
Special issue on Challenges and opportunities of ageing in Europe: Findings from the first two waves of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, edited by A. BÖRSCH-SUPAN, Karsten HANK and H. JÜRGES
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