Health inequalities in older age: The role of socioeconomic resources and social networks in context

Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of Original Version



Healthy ageing and a high wellbeing in old age not only crucial for individuals but also for societies as a whole, especially in times of demographic ageing. In this chapter, we assess the social gradient in old age health from a sociological perspective. We describe the state of knowledge concerning health inequalities in the second half of life within a theoretical and empirical perspective, and focus on methodological challenges in comparative research on ageing. We first present an overview of general theoretical assumptions about the links between social and health inequality as well as different mechanisms and pathways linking socioeconomic resources to older age health. Next we give special attention to the role of the role of social networks and family relationships for (differences in the) wellbeing of older men and women and different socioeconomic groups. We close with critical remarks about methodological limitations and open questions for future research.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Handbook of Health Inequalities Across the Life Course