Social Interaction and Longevity: An Eleven-Year Longitudinal Study of Older Persons in a Japanese Village
Many studies around the world have demonstrated the relationship between various dimensions of social interaction and outcomes related to morbidity and mortality among older adults. The current study examines these relationships between social participation and morbidity and mortality in a Japanese sample across an eleven year period. Results demonstrate that greater dependence in mobility, sensory, and activities of daily living were negatively related to survival over 11 years. The overall analysis revealed that most indicators of social interaction were positively related to survival. And, even after controlling for the effects of age, gender, disease, moving function, sensory function, and ADL function, many types of social activities were significantly related to survival. Overall, the relationship between social integration, in a wide variety of ways it can be measured, has a complex, but crucial role in increasing not just the length, but the quality of the lives of older people.