Date of Original Version
A variety of terms and measures have been used in the literature to denote being socially integrated, and many studies of older adults focus on only social networks or social support and often only include those living in the community. The purpose of this study was to assess multiple constructs of social integration (i.e., social networks, social capital, social support, and social engagement) for older adults in nursing homes. Data were collected from 140 older adults at 30 nursing homes in Kansas. We interviewed older adults' in-person using a survey questionnaire, and used multilevel confirmatory factor analysis to analyze the data. The final model that included the four constructs had acceptable fit (χ2 = 174.71; df = 112; p < .01; CFI = .93; RMSEA = .06; SRMR-W = .06; SRMR-B = .12). The results showed that the proposed model was supported at the individual level. At the between-level, social networks and social support were supported. Study results have methodological and practice/policy implications for the study of older adults in long term care settings. In particular, this study contributes to understanding how to operationally define and differentiate social integration variables in studies of older adults, particularly when study data are hierarchical.
Leedahl, S., Sellon, A., & Chapin, R. (2018). Assessment of multiple constructs of social integration for older adults living in nursing homes. Journal of Gerontological Social Work. doi:10.1080/01634372.2018.1451938