Social activities are an important aspect of health and quality of life of the aging population. They are key elements in the prevention of loneliness. In order to create living environments that stimulate older adults to engage in social activities, more insight is needed in the social activity patterns of the aging population. This study therefore analyzes the heterogeneity in older adults’ preferences for different social activity location types and the relationship between these preferences and personal and mobility characteristics. This is done using a latent class multinomial logit model based on two-day diary data collected in 2014 in Noord-Limburg in the Netherlands among 213 respondents aged 65 or over. The results show that three latent classes can be identified among the respondents who recorded social activities in the diary: a group that mainly socializes at home, a group that mainly socializes at a community center and a group that is more likely to socialize at public ‘third’ places. The respondents who did not record any interactions during the two days, are considered as a separate segment. Relationships between segment membership and personal and mobility characteristics were tested using cross-tabulations with chi-square tests and analyses of variance. The results suggest that both personal and mobility characteristics play an important role in social activity patterns of older adults.
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