Social integration: How is it related to self-rated health?


Social integration has well-established health benefits among older adults in observational studies. However, interventions designed to increase social integration have not improved health suggesting important knowledge gaps on how social integration influences health outcomes. This study developed a new measure of social integration, daily social contact, capturing the interpersonal nature of social integration and mobility of individuals, and providing a direct assessment of individuals’ real-time access to companionship and social support. The data used is the 2006-2007 American Time Use Survey (ATUS), which surveyed 25,191 individuals aged 15 years and older (n = 4378 aged 65 years and older). Generalized ordinal logistic regression analyses revealed positive, but non-parallel relationships between daily social contacts and the ordinal categories of self-rated health among older adults. This study may be used to identify populations that experience social exclusion, such that future research can determine more precisely how to intervene to improve health outcomes.

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Kang, H. and Michael, Y. (2013) Social integration: How is it related to self-rated health?. Advances in Aging Research, 2, 10-20. doi: 10.4236/aar.2013.21002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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