Advertisement

European Journal of Ageing

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 187–202 | Cite as

Living conditions as predictor of elderly residential satisfaction. A cross-European view by poverty status

  • Celia Fernández-CarroEmail author
  • Juan Antonio Módenes
  • Jeroen Spijker
Original Investigation

Abstract

Although there is an extensive body of literature on the use of residential satisfaction to measure the impact of housing conditions on well-being in later life, less is known about differences and similarities between sub-populations and national contexts. By means of a cross-European analysis (EU15), this study aims to examine how objective and subjective factors of living conditions shape the perceptions of older Europeans about the adequacy of their residential environment. Two patterns of housing quality are explored: (1) international heterogeneity of the EU15 countries, and (2) intra-national heterogeneity, where we distinguish between households at risk of poverty and those not at risk in the elderly population of these countries. Data were drawn from the 2007 wave of the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions survey, providing a sample of more than 58,000 individuals aged 65 years and older. The housing characteristics surveyed were reduced using tetrachoric correlations in a principal component analysis. The resulting predictors, as well as control variables (including gender, age, health status and tenure), are assessed using multiple linear regression analysis to explore their association with a high or low level of residential satisfaction. Despite a generally positive assessment by older Europeans of their living space, major geographic and household income differences existed in the factors that explained residential satisfaction. Identifying factors associated with residential satisfaction in different household income groups and national contexts may facilitate the development of EU policies that attempt to make ‘ageing in place’ a viable and suitable option for older Europeans.

Keywords

Ageing Residential satisfaction Living conditions Poverty Tetrachoric principal component analysis Europe 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This paper is a revised version of Chapter 5 of Fernandez-Carro’s (2013) PhD thesis “Ageing in Place in Europe: a multidimensional approach to independent living in later life”. Financial support for this research came from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness: Dr Módenes and Dr. Fernández-Carro under the R + D + i project “Re-defining the population-housing linkage in a crisis context. A cross-European view” (CSO2010-17133), Dr. Módenes under the R + D + i project “Geographical mobility and housing: Spain in an international perspective” (CSO2013-45358-R) and Dr Spijker under the “Ramón y Cajal” programme (RYC-2013-14851).

References

  1. Abdi H, Williams LJ (2010) Principal component analysis. Wiley Interdiscip Rev 2:433–459. doi: 10.1002/wics.101 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adriaanse CCM (2007) Measuring residential satisfaction: a residential environmental satisfaction scale (RESS). J Hous Built Environ 22:287–304. doi: 10.1007/s10901-007-9082-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amerigo M, Aragonés JI (1997) A theoretical and methodological approach to the study of residential satisfaction. J Environ Psychol 17:47–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aragonés JI, Francescato G, Gärling T (2002) Evaluating residential environments. In: Aragonés JI, Francescato G, Gärling T (eds) residential environments., Chioce, satisfaction and behaviorBergin & Garvin, Westport, pp 1–13Google Scholar
  5. Becker MP, Clogg CC (1988) A note on approximating correlations from odds ratios. Soc Methods Res 16:407–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bonett DG, Price RM (2005) Inferential methods for the tetrachoric correlation coefficient. J Educ Behav Stat 30:213–225. doi: 10.3102/10769986030002213 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Braubach M (2007) Residential conditions and their impact on residential environment satisfaction and health: results of the WHO large analysis and review of European housing and health status (LARES) study. Int J Environ Pollut 30:384–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Braubach M, Power A (2011) Housing conditions and risk: reporting on a European study of housing quality and risk of accidents for older people. J Hous Elder 25:288–305. doi: 10.1080/02763893.2011.595615 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brown V (1995) The effects of poverty environments on elders’ subjective well-being: a conceptual model. Gerontologist 35(4):541–548. doi: 10.1093/geront/35.4.541 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Burton E, Mitchell L, Stride C (2011) Good places for ageing in place: development of objective built environment measures for investigating links with older people’s wellbeing. BMC Public Health 11:839CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Canter D, Rees K (1982) A multivariate model of housing satisfaction. Int Rev Appl Psychol 31:185–207. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-0597.1982.tb00087.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carp FM (1976) Housing and living environments of older people. In: Binstock RH, Shanas E (eds) Handbook of aging and the social sciences. VanNostrand Reinhold, New York, pp 244–271Google Scholar
  13. Carp FM, Carp A (1984) A complimentary/congruence model of well-being or mental health for the community elderly. In: Altman I, Lawton MP, Wohlwill J (eds) Human behaviour and the environment: the elderly and the physical environment. Plenum Press, New York, pp 279–336Google Scholar
  14. Christensen DL, Carp FM, Cranz GL, Wiley JA (1992) Objective housing indicators of the subjective evaluations of elderly residents. J Environ Psychol 12:225–236. doi: 10.1016/S0272-4944(05)80137-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Costa-Font J (2013) Housing-related well-being in older people: the impact of environmental and financial influences. Urb Stud 50:657–673. doi: 10.1177/0042098012456247 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Day R (2008) Local environments and older people’s health: dimensions from a comparative qualitative study in Scotland. Health Place 14(2):299–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Domanski H, Ostrowska A, Przybysz D, Romaniuk A, Krieger H (2006) First European Quality of Life Survey: social dimensions of housing. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
  18. Dunteman GH (1989) Principal components analysis, vol 69. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Eurostat (2009) Description of SILC user database variables:Cross-sectional and Longitudinal. Version 2007.1 from 01-03-09. Eurostat, Unit F-3, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
  20. Evans G, Kantrowitz E, Elshelman P (2002) Housing quality and psychological well-being among the elderly population. Gerontol B 57:381–383. doi: 10.1093/geronb/57.4.P381 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fänge A, Iwarsson S (1999) Physical housing environment: development of a self-assessment instrument. Can J Occup Ther 66:250–260. doi: 10.1177/000841749906600507 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fernández-Carro C (2013) Ageing in place in Europe: a multidimensional approach to independent living in later life. PhD Thesis. Autonomous University of BarcelonaGoogle Scholar
  23. Francescato G (2002) Residential satisfaction research: the case for and against. In: Aragonés JI, Francescato G, Gärling T (eds) Residential environments., Choice, satisfaction and behviorBergin & Garvey, Westport, pp 16–34Google Scholar
  24. Gilleard C, Hyde M, Higgs P (2007) The impact of age, place, aging in place, and attachment to place on the well-being of the over 50 s in England. Res Aging 29:590–604. doi: 10.1177/0164027507305730 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gitlin L (2003) Conducting research on home environments: lessons learned and new directions. Gerontologist 43:628–637. doi: 10.1093/geront/43.5.628 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Golant SM (2008) Commentary: irrational exuberance for the aging in place of vulnerable low-income older homeowners. J Aging Soc Pol 20(4):379–397. doi: 10.1080/08959420802131437 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Haugen K (2011) The advantage of ‘Near’: which accessibilities matter to whom? Eur J Transp Infrast 11:368–388Google Scholar
  28. Hotelling H (1933) Analysis of a complex of statistical variables into principal components. J Educ Psychol 24:417–441 (498–520)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hunt P, Frankenberge R (1981) Home: castle or cage? In: An introduction to sociology. Open University, Milton KeynesGoogle Scholar
  30. Iwarsson S, Wilson G (2006) Environmental barriers, functional limitations, and housing satisfaction among older people in Sweden: a longitudinal perspective on housing accessibility. Technol Disabil 18(2):57–66Google Scholar
  31. Iwarsson S, Wahl H-W, Nygren C (2004) Challenges for cross-national housing research with older persons: lessons from ENABLE-AGE project. Eur J Ageing 1:79–88. doi: 10.1007/s10433-004-0010-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Iwarsson S, Wahl H-W, Nygren C, Oswald F, Sixsmith A, Sixsmith J, Széman Z, Tomsone S (2007) Importance of the home environment for healthy aging: conceptual and methodological background of the European ENABLE-AGE project. Gerontologist 47:78–84. doi: 10.1093/geront/47.1.78 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. James RN III (2008) Residential satisfaction of elderly tenants in apartment housing. Soc Indic Res 89:421–437. doi: 10.1007/s11205-008-9241-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kahana E (1982) A congruence model of person–environment interaction. In: Lawton MP, Windley PG, Byerts TO (eds) Ageing and the environment: theoretical approaches. Springer, New York, pp 97–121Google Scholar
  35. Kahana E, Lovegreen L, Kahana B, Kahana M (2003) Person, environment, and person–environment fit as influences on residential satisfaction of elders. Environ Behav 35:434–453. doi: 10.1177/0013916503035003007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kaspar R, Oswald F, Wahl H-W, Voss E, Wettstein M (2012) Daily mood and out-of-home mobility in older adults: does cognitive impairment matter? J Appl Gerontol 11:1–22. doi: 10.1177/0733464812466290 Google Scholar
  37. Lawton MP, Nahemow L (1973) Ecology and the aging process. In: Eisdorfen C, Lawton MP (eds) Psychology of adult development and ageing. American Psychology Association, Washington DC, pp 619–674CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lehning AJ, Smith RJ, Dunkle RE (2013) Do age-friendly characteristics influence the expectation to age in place? A comparison of low-income and higher income Detroit elders. J Appl Gerontol. doi: 10.1177/0733464813483210 Google Scholar
  39. Marans RW, Rodgers SW (1975) Toward an understanding of community satisfaction. In: Hawley A, Rock V (eds) Metropolitan America in contemporary perspective. Halstead Press, New York, pp 299–352Google Scholar
  40. Mestheneos E (2011) Ageing in place in the European Union. Global ageing issues and action 7.2:17–24. http://www.ifa-fiv.org/global-ageing-issues-action-volume-7-2/
  41. Norris M, Winston N (2012) Home-ownership, housing regimes and income inequalities in Western Europe. Int J Soc Welf 21:127–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nygren C, Oswald F, Iwarsson S, Fänge A, Sixsmith J, Schilling O, Wahl H-W (2007) Relationships between objective and perceived housing in very old age. Gerontologist 47:85–95. doi: 10.1093/geront/47.1.85 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Oswald F, Wahl H-W (2004) Housing and health in old age. Rev Environ Health 19:223–252Google Scholar
  44. Oswald F, Wahl H-W, Mollenkopf H, Schilling O (2003) Housing and life satisfaction of older adults in two rural regions in Germany. Res Aging 25(2):122–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Oswald F, Hieber A, Wahl HW, Mollenkopf H (2005) Ageing and person–environment fit in different urban neighbourhoods. Eur J Ageing 2:88–97. doi: 10.1007/s10433-005-0026-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Oswald F, Schilling O, Wahl H-W, Fänge A, Sixsmith J (2006) Homeward bound: introducing a four domain model of perceived housing in very old age. J Environ Psychol 26:187–201. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2006.07.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Oswald F, Wahl H-W, Schilling O, Nygren C, Fänge A, Sixsmith A (2007) Relationships between housing and healthy aging in very old age. Gerontologist 47:96–107. doi: 10.1093/geront/47.1.96 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Oswald F, Jopp D, Rott C, Wahl HW (2010) Is aging in place a resource for or risk to life satisfaction? Gerontologist 51:238–250. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnq096 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Pinquart M, Burmedi D (2003) Correlates of residential satisfaction in adulthood and old age: a meta-analysis. Annu Rev Gerontol Geriatr 23:195–222Google Scholar
  50. Prieto-Flores ME, Fernandez-Mayoralas G, Forjaz MJ, Rojo-Perez F, Martinez-Martin P (2011) Residential satisfaction, sense of belonging and loneliness among older adults living in the community and in care facilities. Health Place 17:1183–1190. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.08.01 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ramos Lobato I, Kaup S (2014) The Territorial Dimension of Poverty and Social Exclusion in Europe. http://www.espon.eu/export/sites/default/Documents/Projects/AppliedResearch/TIPSE/DFR/Annex_7_TypologyOfCountries_Working_Paper_9.pdf
  52. Richardson B, Bartlett H (2009) The impact of ageing-in-place policies on structural change in residential aged care. Australas J Ageing 28:28–31. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-6612.2008.00325.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rioux L, Werner C (2011) Residential satisfaction among aging people living in place. J Environ Psychol 31:158–169. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2010.12.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rojo-Pérez F, Fernández-Mayoralas G, Pozo-Rivera E, Rojo-Abuin JM (2001) Ageing in Place: predictors of the residential satisfaction of elderly. Soc Indic Res 54:173–208. doi: 10.1023/A:1010852607362 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Rotter JB (1966) Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychol Monogr 80:1–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Scharf T, de Jong Gierverld J (2008) Loneliness in urban neigbourhoods: an Anglo-Dutch comparison. Eur J Ageing 5:103–115. doi: 10.1007/s10433-008-0080-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Scharf T, Phillipson C, Smith A. (2003). Older people’s perceptions of the neighbourhood: evidence from socially deprived urban areas’, sociological research Online [http://www.socresonline.org.uk/8/4/scharf.html]. Accessed 18 Aug 2014
  58. Sixsmith A, Sixsmith J (2008) Ageing in place in the United Kingdom. Ageing Int 32:219–235. doi: 10.1007/s12126-008-9019-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sixsmith J, Sixsmith A, Fänge AM, Naumann D, Kucsera C, Tomsone S, Haak M, Dahlin-Ivanoff S, Woolrych R (2014) Healthy ageing and home: the perspectives of very old people in five European countries. Soc Sci Med 106:1–9. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.01.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Smith KE (2013) European Union foreign policy in a changing world. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  61. Smith AE, Sim J, Scharf T, Phillipson C (2004) Determinants of quality of life amongst older people in deprived neighbourhoods. Ageing Soc 24:793–814. doi: 10.1017/S0144686X04002569 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Sommerville P (1997) The social construction of home. J Archit Plan Res 14:227–245Google Scholar
  63. Tersch-Römer C, von Kondratowitz H-J (2006) Comparative ageing research: a flourishing field of theoretical cultivation. Eur J Ageing 3:155–167. doi: 10.1007/s10433-006-0034-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. United Nations (2002) Second world assembly of ageing. Political declaration and Madrid international plan of action on ageing. United Nations, MadridGoogle Scholar
  65. Van Gent WPC (2010) Housing context and social transformation strategies in neighbourhood regeneration in Western European cities. Int J Hous Policy 10:63–87. doi: 10.1080/14616710903565712 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Verma V, Betti G, Gagliardi F (2010) An assessment of survey errors in EU-SILC methodologies and working papers. Eurostat, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
  67. Wahl HW, Scheidt R, Windley PG (2004) Annual review of gerontology and geriatrics. Aging in context: socio-physical environments. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  68. Wahl H-W, Fänge A, Oswald F, Gitlin LN, Iwarsson S (2009) The home environment and disability-related outcomes in aging individuals: what is the empirical evidence? Gerontologist 49:355–367. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnp056 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wahl HW, Iwarsson S, Oswald F (2012) Aging well and the environment: toward an integrative model and research agenda for the future. Gerontologist 0:1–11. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnr154 Google Scholar
  70. Weidemann S, Anderson JR (1985) A conceptual framework for residential satisfaction. In: Altman I, Werner C (eds) Home environments. Plenum Press, New York, pp 153–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Whitten P, Kailis E (1999) Housing conditions of the elderly in the EU. Eurostat, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Celia Fernández-Carro
    • 1
    Email author
  • Juan Antonio Módenes
    • 1
  • Jeroen Spijker
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre d’Estudis DemogràficsBarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations