Social integration and social support among older adults following driving cessation

Briana Mezuk, George W. Rebok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of driving cessation on social integration and perceived support from relatives and friends among older adults. Methods. Data came from the population-based Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study. We restricted analyses to participants aged 60+ with a history of driving (n = 398). Social integration (number and frequency of contact) and perceived social support from relatives/friends, driving status (continuing or ceased), and demographic and health characteristics were assessed at interviews 13 years apart. The potential mediating role of ability to use public transit was also investigated. We used repeated measures random-intercept models to evaluate the effect of driving cessation on social network characteristics over time. Results. Former drivers were older, were more likely to be female and non-White, had lower education, had poorer self-rated health, and had lower Mini-Mental State Examination scores relative to continuing drivers. Over the follow-up period, cessation was associated with reduced network of friends (odds ratio = 0.49, p < .05). This association was not mediated by ability to use public transportation. Cessation had no impact on support from friends or relatives. Discussion. Social integration is negatively affected by driving cessation even among elders who feel competent in using alternative forms of transportation, at least concerning networks of friends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S298-S303
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume63
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2008

Keywords

  • Driving cessation
  • Life course
  • Social integration
  • Social networks
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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