Author(s): Park K, Lee Y
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: According to Rowe and Kahn (1998), successful aging is the combination of a low probability of disease, high functioning, and active engagement with life. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between active engagement with life and functioning among the community-dwelling elderly. METHODS: Data were collected from Wave 2 of the Suwon Longitudinal Aging Study (SLAS), consisting of a sample of 645 persons aged 65 and older living in the community. A social activity checklist and social support inventory were used as measures of engagement with life, along with the Physical Functioning (PF) scale as a measure of functioning. The effects of social support and social activity on physical functioning, taking into account the covariates, were analyzed by hierarchical linear regression analysis. RESULTS: Maintenance of social activity and social support were significantly associated with higher physical function, after adjusting for sociodemographic and health-related covariates. Social support appeared to be more prominent than social activity in predicting physical functioning. CONCLUSIONS: Social support and social activity are potentially modifiable factors associated with physical function in older persons. Studies examining the role social engagement may play in preventing disability are warranted.
This article was published in J Prev Med Public Health
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research