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Routineness of Social Interactions is Associated with Higher Affective Well-Being in Older Adults


Luo, Minxia; Yordanova, Kristina; Macdonald, Birthe; Hülür, Gizem (2024). Routineness of Social Interactions is Associated with Higher Affective Well-Being in Older Adults. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 79(6):1-33.

Abstract

Objective
Some research conceptualizes routineness of daily life as an indicator of cognitive vulnerability that would lead to lower well-being in older age, whereas other research expects routineness to give rise to more meaning and stability in life and thus to higher well-being. Further research is needed to understand routineness in older adults in relation to cognitive abilities and well-being. This study examined routineness of social interactions.


Methods
We examined data from an event-contingent experience sampling study with 103 Swiss community-dwelling older adults (aged 65 to 84 years). Participants completed in-lab cognitive assessments (reasoning, episodic memory, speed, vocabulary) and reported their well-being (positive affect, negative affect, life satisfaction). Over 21 days, participants reported the time and context of their social interactions (including modality, partner type, and location). Routineness of social interactions was defined as social interactions that occurred at the same time of day over the study period. It was calculated using recurrence quantification analysis.


Results
Linear regressions showed that higher routineness of social interaction in general, of social interaction through the same modality, and of social interaction with the same partner type were associated with higher positive affect. Higher routineness of social interaction in general was associated with lower negative affect. Routineness of social interactions was not associated with life satisfaction or cognitive abilities.


Discussion
A routine social life may increase older adults’ affective well-being. Results are discussed in the context of activity engagement and time use in older age.

Abstract

Objective
Some research conceptualizes routineness of daily life as an indicator of cognitive vulnerability that would lead to lower well-being in older age, whereas other research expects routineness to give rise to more meaning and stability in life and thus to higher well-being. Further research is needed to understand routineness in older adults in relation to cognitive abilities and well-being. This study examined routineness of social interactions.


Methods
We examined data from an event-contingent experience sampling study with 103 Swiss community-dwelling older adults (aged 65 to 84 years). Participants completed in-lab cognitive assessments (reasoning, episodic memory, speed, vocabulary) and reported their well-being (positive affect, negative affect, life satisfaction). Over 21 days, participants reported the time and context of their social interactions (including modality, partner type, and location). Routineness of social interactions was defined as social interactions that occurred at the same time of day over the study period. It was calculated using recurrence quantification analysis.


Results
Linear regressions showed that higher routineness of social interaction in general, of social interaction through the same modality, and of social interaction with the same partner type were associated with higher positive affect. Higher routineness of social interaction in general was associated with lower negative affect. Routineness of social interactions was not associated with life satisfaction or cognitive abilities.


Discussion
A routine social life may increase older adults’ affective well-being. Results are discussed in the context of activity engagement and time use in older age.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Special Collections > Centers of Competence > Healthy Longevity Center
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Activity engagement, Positive and negative affect, Cognition, Event-contingent experience sampling, Recurrence quantification analysis
Language:English
Date:1 June 2024
Deposited On:17 Apr 2024 07:50
Last Modified:13 May 2024 07:52
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1079-5014
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbae057
PubMed ID:38595036
  • Content: Accepted Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)