Longitudinal Implications of Social Integration for Age and Gender Differences in Late-Life Physical Functioning
Social integration has documented benefits for late-life health; yet, little is known about its impacts on trajectories of physical functioning. This study examines age and gender differences in the longitudinal associations between social integration and activities of daily living (ADLs) using a hierarchical linear model with three waves of survey data collected over 4 years from the Social Integration and Aging Study (N = 400; baseline mean age = 80.3). Findings indicated some interaction effects of age, gender, and/or social integration on ADL trajectories. Among those of more advanced age, women showed greater increases in ADL limitations than men, and individuals with lower social integration experienced greater increases in ADL limitations than those with higher social integration. Neither of these patterns were found among younger older adults. This study highlights the benefits of longitudinal research on social integration and the need to explore practical interventions for promoting social integration particularly among the oldest older adults.
Toyama M, Fuller HR, Owino J. Longitudinal Implications of Social Integration for Age and Gender Differences in Late-Life Physical Functioning. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development. 2022;94(2):169-192. doi:10.1177/0091415020980755
This is the authors’ peer-reviewed manuscript. The version of record is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/0091415020980755. Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Sage Journals retains sole distribution rights.