The Role of Social Engagement in Life Satisfaction: Its Significance among Older Individuals with Disease and Disability
AbstractThe present study examines social engagement (social network and participationin social activities) and its relation to life satisfaction among 354 community-dwelling, cognitively intact older individuals (M age = 72.4 years) with different combinations of disease and disability. Specifically, the analysis focused on individuals with disease but no disability (N = 186) and those with both disease and disability (N = 168). Individuals with both disease and disability had significantly lower levels of participation in social activities and life satisfaction; however, their level of social engagement was more strongly associated with life satisfaction as compared with individuals with disease but no disability. Disabled individuals may compensate for their lower physical function by placing more emphasis on social networks and social activities. Implications for enhancing social engagement and improving the quality of life among disabled older individuals are discussed.