Social relations as determinant of onset of disability in aging.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Kirsten Avlund, Rikke Lund, Bjørn E Holstein, Pernille Due

The purpose of the study was to analyze whether social relations are related to onset of disability among old people at 1.5 year follow-up and whether these relations vary by age and gender. The study is based on baseline and 1.5 year follow-up data on 1396 older non-disabled adults. Social relations were measured by questions about diversity in social relations, social participation, satisfaction with social relations and instrumental social support. Onset of disability was described as developing need of help in at least one of six mobility activities. The results showed that a large diversity in social relations and high social participation were important factors for maintaining functional ability among the 75-year-old men and women, while social support was a risk factor for functional decline among the 80-year-old men. The present study suggests that being "embedded" in a strong network of social relations provides protection against disability by reducing risk of developing disability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume38
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)85-99
Number of pages14
ISSN0167-4943
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Bibliographical note

Keywords: Activities of Daily Living; Age Factors; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Aging; Disabled Persons; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Humans; Interpersonal Relations; Male; Questionnaires

ID: 6109451