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Open AccessArticle

Giving Voice to the Environment as the Silent Partner in Aging: Examining the Moderating Roles of Gender and Family Structure in Older Adult Wellbeing

1
Gerontology Department, University of Haifa, Haifa 3498838, Israel
2
Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, Gujarat 382355, India
3
AgeLab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4373; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124373
Received: 30 May 2020 / Revised: 15 June 2020 / Accepted: 16 June 2020 / Published: 18 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Inequalities in Ageing Societies and the Impact on Ageing Well)
Gerontological scholarship has long seen the environment to be a silent partner in aging. Environmental Gerontology, an established approach in Social Gerontology, has shown how the everyday lives of older adults are deeply entangled in socio-spatial environments. Adopting an Environmental Gerontology approach, we explore social and cultural dimensions of the association between out-of-home mobility and wellbeing among older adults in a north western city of India. This was established by combining high resolution time-space data collected using GPS receivers, questionnaire data and time diaries. Following a multi-staged analytical strategy, we first examine the correlation between out-of-home mobility and wellbeing using bivariate correlation. Second, we introduce gender and family structure into regression models as moderating variables to improve the models’ explanatory power. Finally, we use our results to reinterpret the Ecological Press Model of Aging to include familial structure as a factor that moderates environmental stress. Findings emphasize the central role that social constructs play in the long-established relationship between the environment and the wellbeing of older adults. View Full-Text
Keywords: spatial mobility; wellbeing; older adults; family structure; gender; India spatial mobility; wellbeing; older adults; family structure; gender; India
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Isaacson, M.; Tripathi, A.; Samanta, T.; D’Ambrosio, L.; Coughlin, J. Giving Voice to the Environment as the Silent Partner in Aging: Examining the Moderating Roles of Gender and Family Structure in Older Adult Wellbeing. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 4373.

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