Successful Aging in the Context of the Disablement Process: Working and Volunteering as Moderators on the Association Between Chronic Conditions and Subsequent Functional Limitations.

TitleSuccessful Aging in the Context of the Disablement Process: Working and Volunteering as Moderators on the Association Between Chronic Conditions and Subsequent Functional Limitations.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsKail, BL, Carr, DC
JournalThe journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences
Volume72
Issue2
Pagination340-340
Date Published2016 May 25
ISSN Number1758-5368
KeywordsChronic conditions, Disabilities, Engagement
Abstract

OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated the successful aging model by assessing the impact of two forms of productive engagement-working and volunteering-as potential interventions in the process of disablement.

METHOD: The Health and Retirement Study was used to (a) estimate two-stage selection equations of (i) currently working part time and full time and (ii) currently volunteering less than 100 hours and volunteering 100 hours or more per year (net of chronic health problems) and (b) assess whether, net of selection, working, and volunteering moderate the association between chronic conditions and subsequent functional limitations.

RESULTS: Chronic conditions were associated with elevated levels of subsequent functional limitations, whereas both working and volunteering were associated with lower levels of subsequent functional limitations. Moreover, workers and volunteers of less than 100 hours per year experienced a reduction in the association of chronic conditions on subsequent functional limitations.

DISCUSSION: This research highlights the role of productive engagement as a key element in successful aging. Not only do work and volunteering have direct associations with health outcomes themselves, but they also act as potential interventions in the process of disablement by attenuating the way in which chronic conditions are translated into subsequent functional limitations. This suggests that (a) future research should apply successful aging models to health processes as well as health outcomes and (b) policy makers should support social institutions that foster late-life productive engagement.

URLhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27225973
DOI10.1093/geronb/gbw060
Alternate JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Citation Key8492
PubMed ID27225973