DONNO, ANNALISA and PACCAGNELLA, OMAR and TANTURRI, MARIA LETIZIA (2020) Quality of life in older age: Does the context matter? [Working Paper] WORKING PAPER SERIES, 9/2020 . , PADOVA
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Abstract (italian or english)
As societies age, the well-being of the elderly increasingly becomes a priority and a challenge. Measuring the quality of life of older people and identifying its determinants is a fundamental element, that could help in designing tailored policies for making aged people well-being increase all over Europe.
Most of research on active ageing stresses the importance of individual determinants of wellbeing, and some scholars suggest that macro factors have also a role, for instance the welfare provisions and models, as well as the level of socio-economic inequality, unemployment rate, gender equality policies, GDP. However, in the quoted studies only single macro dimensions are generally considered, while a research linking the multiple macro-dimensions of active aging to the individual level of wellbeing is lacking.
We want to fill this gap, aware that both active ageing (as a macro-level element) and individual well-being are complex concepts, influenced and determined by several aspects, and that research results could be influenced by the type of dimension chosen for the analysis.
Beyond understanding the micro-level elements influencing individual well being, we want to “put individuals into contexts”, and to investigate the role macro- level factors have in explaining individual wellbeing.
The novelty element of our research is that we use composite measures, both at the micro and macro-level.
We focus on a broad definition of quality of life in old age, capturing the multidimensional nature of such a concept by using the CASP-12 indicator drawn from the sixth wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE).
We chose as a macro-level composite indicator the Active Ageing Index (AAI), that depict an overall picture synthetizing several aspect considered to be important gauges of active ageing at the national level. We use multilevel models, by taking into account the AAI measure as a level-2 variable, both in its elementary components and as a whole, to in depth investigate which macro-level factors foster/hinder elderlies’ life quality.
Result seems to corroborate the hypothesis that the context matters and cannot be ignored in the analysis. This confirm other results found in the literature on the importance of the macro factors on individual’s wellbeing and support the idea that using macro indicators in multilevel analysis increase the explaining potential of the study.
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