DONNO, ANNALISA and MEGGIOLARO, SILVIA and TANTURRI, MARIA LETIZIA (2020) Social activities, loneliness and life satisfaction in old age: a time use study. [Working Paper] WORKING PAPER SERIES, 10/2020 . , PADOVA
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Abstract (italian or english)
The concept of actively ageing is strictly related to the notion of dealing with time: finding a new role in society means to replace structured time use routines with new ones, giving old people the chance to establish and discover a renewed meaning of life.
Research has shown that being active is an important determinant of LS. Moreover, not only the type of activity seems to be important, but also its social dimension.
In this study we use Time Use survey for understanding if and to what extent involvement in different activities – measured through time devoted to each activity – is associated with different levels of LS. Moreover, we want to know if performing those activities alone or with other people is significantly associated to LS level, with the hypothesis that impairment in social interactions and isolation are important sources of dissatisfaction in old age, while supportive social relationships and intimacy may increase emotional strength and LS.
We select a subsample of 12,247 individuals, aged more than 60 from the 2015-2016 Italian Time Use Survey. We use OLS regression models for studying the association between self-reported LS (10 point Likert scale) and the time spent in passive, active, and social pursuits.
By starting from the hypothesis that different aspects are likely to be important in the evaluation of self, and, in turn, in determining wellbeing, for men and women, we run separate analyses by gender. Moreover by considering that being active, and, in particular, being active in social activities and spending time not alone may have a more relevant role in determining LS when the older adult is in a condition of social frailty, such as that defined by living alone, we split our analyses by living arrangements (alone vs. with others). We can expect, in fact, that the potential gender differences in the predictors of LS vary for older persons living alone, as they have specific characteristics and needs, and, even if they are not necessarily socially isolated, their condition places them in a potential vulnerable position.
Results show that being active is important for LS in old age. Spending time in social activities resulted to be associated with LS, regardless the sex. At the same time, the proportion of daily activities spent with other people is relevant only for people not living alone.
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