Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

The effect of social participation on the subjective and objective health status of the over-fifties: evidence from SHARE

Leone, Tiziana ORCID: 0000-0001-9671-5382 and Hessel, Philipp (2016) The effect of social participation on the subjective and objective health status of the over-fifties: evidence from SHARE. Ageing and Society, 36 (5). pp. 968-987. ISSN 0144-686X

PDF - Accepted Version
Download (628kB) | Preview
Identification Number: 10.1017/S0144686X15000148


Increasing social participation among older individuals to increase health and wellbeing has become a distinct policy goal of many national governments and the European Commission. However, to date the evidence on how social participation affects health, both subjective and objective, remains limited, especially since most studies do not account for the reciprocal relationship. The aim of this study is to analyse how changes in social participation affect both the subjective and objective health of older Europeans as well as how changes in health status affect social participation. Using longitudinal data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), the results suggest that both the uptake as well as the continuation of social activities increase the chances of improvements in subjective as well as objective health. Furthermore, improvements in self-rated health as well as grip strength significantly increase the chances of taking up new activities as well as continuing with existing ones. Country effect is not as strong as expected and the benefits could be homogeneous across different cultures once we control for socio-economic status. Overall, the results stress the need for taking into account the reciprocal relationship between social participation and health. The paper highlights the importance of focusing on both uptake and continuation of social participation when devising policy aimed at improving healthy ageing.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Cambridge University Press
Divisions: Social Policy
LSE Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2015 14:50
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 02:11

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics