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Journal of Population Ageing

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 315–344 | Cite as

Social Exclusion in Later Life: A Systematic Review of the Literature

  • Sofie Van RegenmortelEmail author
  • Liesbeth De Donder
  • Sarah Dury
  • An-Sofie Smetcoren
  • Nico De Witte
  • Dominique Verté
Article

Abstract

In the last decade, there has been a growing awareness regarding social exclusion. Considering the ageing population and the likelihood of older people being socially excluded, the aims of this article are to: (1) review existing studies concerning social exclusion in later life; and (2) identify how environmental and life-course perspectives are presented in studies focusing on social exclusion in later life. A systematic review in seven scientific databases was conducted to explore the peer-reviewed evidence. In total, 26 articles were included and analysed. Findings describe the variety of methods, conceptualisation, dimensions and measures used in this recent area of research. Determinants of social exclusion in later life are discussed and life-course and environmental perspectives are examined. The discussion highlights the complex character of the concept and measurement of social exclusion, and the presence of general and age-specific dimensions of social exclusion in later life. The time and context relativity and the need for life-course and environmental perspectives on social exclusion in later life are discussed. Finally, future directions of research are discussed.

Keywords

Social exclusion Social inclusion Later life Systematic review 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving Human Participants and/or Animals

not applicable

Informed consent

not applicable

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofie Van Regenmortel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Liesbeth De Donder
    • 1
  • Sarah Dury
    • 1
  • An-Sofie Smetcoren
    • 1
  • Nico De Witte
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dominique Verté
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology and Educational SciencesVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Faculty of Education, Health and Social WorkUniversity College GhentGhentBelgium

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