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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2014, Article ID 626097, 10 pages
Research Article

The Relationship between Health and Community across Aging Cohorts

1Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, McGuinn Hall, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA
2School of Social Welfare, University at Albany, State University of New York, 135 Western Avenue, Richardson 277, Albany, NY 12222, USA

Received 14 January 2014; Revised 15 May 2014; Accepted 15 May 2014; Published 10 June 2014

Academic Editor: Barbara Shukitt-Hale

Copyright © 2014 Julie Norstrand and Keith T. Chan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Research is needed to examine the connection between older adults and their community as they age. This is important as increasing numbers of older adults wish to age in place. Regression models were examined across 3 cohorts testing relationships among social capital indicators (neighborhood trust, neighborhood support, neighborhood cohesion, neighborhood participation, and telephone interaction) with health outcomes (self-rated health, activities of daily living (ADL), and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL)). Results showed that most social capital indicators remained significant for all health outcomes into very old age. Development of tools for individual and community interventions to ensure optimal fit between the aging individual and their environment is discussed, along with recommendations for enhancing social work theory and practice.