February 7, 2018

Carleton University's Study on Social Participation and Aging Findings!

In 2016, residents from Riverstone Retirement Communities participated in a Social Participation and Aging Study. Well, the results are in! Here is what the findings revealed.

 

Compared to younger adults, older adults were more resilient, identified more strongly with their social groups, and used more religious coping.

They also used less emotion-focused coping (e.g. ruminating on problems), experienced fewer stress and depressive symptoms.
At Riverstone, participation in groups overall was linked to a better ability to handle stress. In particular, being a part of game, artistic
(e.g. musical), and physical groups was linked to fewer depressive symptoms, but only if you strongly identify with others.
We were also interested in different proteins that support the brain and social behavior.
Variations in the DNA code for these molecules was linked to social identity and their effects on wellbeing.
We also asked you (i.e. older adults): what is the key to successful aging?
Nine themes emerged from these responses and are listed in order from most
to least popular below:
1. Sociality
2. Remaining Active
3. Good health
4. Optimism
5. Acceptance and Easygoingness
6. Problem solving and hard work
7. Religion and Faith
8. Autonomy
9. Humour
Summary:
  • When comparing student and retirement populations, mental health gets
  • better with age!
  • It’s not just about participating in groups, it’s how you identify with group
  • members that affects your mental health.
  • How groups affect your well-being may also depend on your genes.
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