Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Social Integration

  • Julianne Holt-LunstadEmail author
  • Mckay Lefler
Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_646-2



Social integration is a multidimensional construct that can be defined as the extent to which individuals participate in a variety of social relationships, including engagement in social activities or relationships and a sense of communality and identification with one’s social roles (Holt-Lunstad and Uchino 2015; Brissette et al. 2000). Social integration and social support are often used interchangeably but represent different conceptual approaches to understanding the influence of social relationships. For example, the classic paper by Cohen and Wills (1985) drew the distinction between structural and functional aspects of social support. Social integration is viewed as structural, because it represents the presence or absence of support, whereas perceived social support and received social support are viewed as functional aspects of relationships (e.g., Holt-Lunstad et al. 2017...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Danan Gu
    • 1
  1. 1.Population Division, Department of Economic and Social AffairsUnited NationsNew YorkUSA