Social engagement across the retirement transition among “young-old” adults in the French GAZEL cohort
- 415 Downloads
The objective of this study was to test predictors of change in social engagement across the retirement transition in a cohort of 10,692 French utility workers retiring between 1992 and 2004, aged 51–65 in 2004. Three measures of social engagement (organizational activity participation, number of close family members, and number of close friends) were collected in 1991 and 2004; 1991 scores were subtracted from 2004 scores to determine change. We used ordered logistic regression to model predictors of change. Compared with those retiring just before the follow-up measure, those retiring 2–5 years earlier had greater positive change in organizational activity participation (OR 1.22, 95 % CI 1.07, 1.39) and greater positive change in number of close friends (OR 1.19, 95 % CI 1.04, 1.37) after retirement compared with before, but no difference in family contact, and no clear linear trend by retirement timing relative to the follow-up measure. Women were less likely than men to increase organizational activities and contact with close family ties. Poor self-rated health at follow-up consistently predicted decreased engagement. For specific activities, those retired longest had not only the greatest odds of increased political/religious organizational involvement and sports/hobby/leisure involvement but also the greatest odds of decreased volunteering. Those of low midlife socioeconomic status (SES) were more likely to decrease levels of formal engagement from before retirement to after, compared to those of higher SES. Overall, certain changes in social engagement emerged with increasing time in retirement. However, retirement timing was a weaker predictor of change in engagement than factors such as low midlife SES or poor health. Findings suggest that disparities in social engagement may emerge during retirement.
KeywordsSocial engagement Retirement Social support Social networks Older adults
This work is part of a project funded by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR, French National Research Agency) and Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire de l’Environnement et du Travail (AFSSET, French Agency for Sanitary Security of Environment and Work). Funding for this analysis was provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Network on an Aging Society.
- Barnes-Farnell J (2003) Retirement: reasons, processes, and results. Springer Publishing Co., New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Bass S, Caro F (2001) Productive aging: A conceptual framework. In: Morrow-Howell N, Hinterlong JE, Sherraden M (eds) Productive aging: concepts and challenges. Johns Hopkins University Press, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
- Berkman LF, Syme SL (1979) Social networks, host resistance, and mortality: a nine-year follow-up study of Alameda County residents. Am J Epidemiol 109:186–204Google Scholar
- Miller AS, Nakamura T (1996) On the stability of church attendance patterns during a time of demographic change: 1965–1988. J Sci Study Relig 35:275–284Google Scholar
- Moen P (2000) A life-course approach to retirement and social integration. In: Pillemer K, Moen P, Wethington E, Glasgow N (eds) Social integration in the second half of life. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, pp 75–107Google Scholar
- Pillemer K, Glasgow N (2001) Social integration and aging: background and trends. In: Pillemer K, Moen P, Wethington E, Glasgow N (eds) Social integration in the second half of life. Johns Hopkins University Press, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
- Pillemer K, Moen P, Wethington E, Glasgow N (2000) Social integration in the second half of life. Johns Hopkins University Press, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
- Rowe JW, Kahn RL (1998) Successful aging: the MacArthur foundation study. Pantheon, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Szinovacz ME, Adams G, Beehr T (2003) Contexts and pathways: retirement as institution, process, and experience. In: Adams GA, Beehr CA (eds) Retirement: reasons, processes, and results. Springer, New York, pp 6–52Google Scholar
- Vahtera J et al (2009) Effect of retirement on sleep disturbances: the GAZEL prospective Cohort Study. Sleep 32:1459–1466Google Scholar