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Vol. 56, No. 1, 2010
Issue release date: January 2010
Free Access
Gerontology 2010;56:106–111
(DOI:10.1159/000272026)

Social Resources and Longevity: Findings from the Georgia Centenarian Study

Randall G.K.a · Martin P.b · McDonald M.b · Poon L.W.c
aFamily and Consumer Sciences, Bradley University, Peoria, Ill., bIowa State University, Ames, Iowa, and cUniversity of Georgia, Athens, Ga., USA
email Corresponding Author

Abstract

Background: As the proportion of adults aged 85 and older increases, investigations of resources essential for adapting to the challenges of aging are required. Objective: To comprehensively investigate the social resources of cognitively intact centenarians participating in the Georgia Centenarian Study and the association between these resources and residence status. Methods: Two widely used measures of social resources were investigated among participants living in private homes, personal care facilities, and nursing homes. Logistic regression was used to determine significant predictors of nursing home residence. Results: Differences in levels of social resources were found between centenarians and octogenarians, and among centenarians in different living situations. Analyses revealed differential findings between self- and proxy reports. Controlling for education, activities of daily living, and financial ability to meet needs, only one of the two social resources measures significantly reduced the odds of nursing home residence. Conclusion: The findings of this study add to the existing literature on one of the basic adaptive resources (social resources) for centenarians. Whether a more specific assessment of network contact is employed, or a more global assessment is used, differences in these constructs exist between centenarians and octogenarians, among centenarians in differing living conditions, and across types of informants. Researchers examining the different resources that may contribute to extraordinary longevity and positive adaptation may find it essential to differentiate between the oldest old and centenarians, and to account for differences based upon measure, reporter type, and centenarian residence status.


 goto top of outline Key Words

  • Oldest old
  • Centenarian
  • Social resources
  • Social provisions
  • Nursing home

 goto top of outline Abstract

Background: As the proportion of adults aged 85 and older increases, investigations of resources essential for adapting to the challenges of aging are required. Objective: To comprehensively investigate the social resources of cognitively intact centenarians participating in the Georgia Centenarian Study and the association between these resources and residence status. Methods: Two widely used measures of social resources were investigated among participants living in private homes, personal care facilities, and nursing homes. Logistic regression was used to determine significant predictors of nursing home residence. Results: Differences in levels of social resources were found between centenarians and octogenarians, and among centenarians in different living situations. Analyses revealed differential findings between self- and proxy reports. Controlling for education, activities of daily living, and financial ability to meet needs, only one of the two social resources measures significantly reduced the odds of nursing home residence. Conclusion: The findings of this study add to the existing literature on one of the basic adaptive resources (social resources) for centenarians. Whether a more specific assessment of network contact is employed, or a more global assessment is used, differences in these constructs exist between centenarians and octogenarians, among centenarians in differing living conditions, and across types of informants. Researchers examining the different resources that may contribute to extraordinary longevity and positive adaptation may find it essential to differentiate between the oldest old and centenarians, and to account for differences based upon measure, reporter type, and centenarian residence status.

Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel


 goto top of outline References
  1. Vaupel JW: The biodemography of aging. Popul Dev Rev 2004;30:48–62.

    External Resources

  2. Harman D: Aging: overview. Ann NY Acad Sci 2001;928:1–21.
  3. Ball MM, Perkins MM, Whittington FJ, et al: Managing decline in assisted living: the key to aging in place. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2004;59:S202–S212.

    External Resources

  4. Mitchell JM, Kemp BJ: Quality of life in assisted living homes: a multidimensional analysis. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2000;55:P117–P127.
  5. Street D, Burge S, Quadagno J, et al: The salience of social relationships for resident well-being in assisted living. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2007;62:S129–S134.
  6. Martin P, Poon LW, Kim E, et al: Social and psychological resources in the oldest old. Exp Aging Res 1996;22:121–139.
  7. Braungart Fauth E, Zarit SH, Malmberg B, Johansson B: Physical, cognitive, and psychosocial variables from the Disablement Process Model predict patterns of independence and the transition into disability for the oldest-old. Gerontologist 2007;47:613–624.

    External Resources

  8. Burholt V, Windle G, Ferring D, et al: Reliability and validity of the Older Americans Resources and Services (OARS) Social Resources Scale in six European countries. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2007;62:S371–S379.
  9. Mavandadi S, Rook KS, Newsom JT: Positive and negative social exchanges and disability in later life: an investigation of trajectories of change. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2007;62:S361–S370.
  10. Fillenbaum GG: Multidimensional Functional Assessment of Older Adults: The Duke Older Americans Resources and Services Procedures. Hillsdale, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1994.
  11. Cutrona C, Russell D: The provisions of social relationships and adaptation to stress; in Jones JH, Perlman D (eds): Advances in Personal Relationships. Greenwich, JAI Press, 1987, pp 37–67.
  12. Baltes P: On the incomplete architecture of human ontogeny: selection, optimization, and compensation as foundation of developmental theory. Am Psychol 1997;52:366–380.
  13. Martin P, Martin M: Proximal and distal influences on development: the model of developmental adaptation. Dev Rev 2002;22:78–96.

    External Resources

  14. Gaugler JE, Duval S, Anderson KA, Kane RL: Predicting nursing home admission in the U.S.: a meta-analysis. BMC Geriatr 2007;7:13.
  15. Miller EA, Weissert WG: Predicting elderly people’s risk for nursing home placement, hospitalization, functional impairment, and mortality: a synthesis. Med Care Res Rev 2000;57:259–297.
  16. Martin P: Individual and social resources predicting well-being and functioning in the later years: conceptual models, research, and practice. Aging Int 2002;27:3–29.

    External Resources

  17. Poon LW, Jazwinkski SM, Green RC, et al: Contributors of longevity and adaptation: findings and new directions from the Georgia Centenarian Study; in: Perls TT (ed): Exceptional Longevity. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins, 2007.
  18. Folstein MF, Folstein SE, McHugh PR: ‘Mini-mental state’. A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. J Psychiatr Res 1975;12:189–198.
  19. Herbert TB, Cohen S: Measurement issues in research on psychosocial stress; in: Kaplan HB (ed) Psychosical Stress: Perspectives on Structure, Theory, Life-Course, and Methods. San Diego, Academic Press, 1996, pp 295–332.
  20. Reuben DB, Valle LA, Hays RD, et al: Measuring physical function in community-dwelling older persons: a comparison of self-administered, interviewer-administered, and performance-based measures. J Am Geriatr Soc 1995;43:17–23.

 goto top of outline Author Contacts

G. Kevin Randall, MD
Family and Consumer Sciences, 05 Bradley Hall, Bradley University
1501 West Bradley Avenue
Peoria, IL 61625 (USA)
Tel. +1 309 677 3202, Fax +1 309 677 3813, E-Mail krandall@bradley.edu


 goto top of outline Article Information

Additional authors include S.M. Jazwinski, R.C. Green, M. Gearing, W.R. Markesbery, J.L. Woodard, M.A. Johnson, J.S. Tenover, I.C. Siegler, W.L. Rodgers, D.B. Hausman, C. Rott, A. Davey, and J. Arnold.

Received: April 8, 2008
Accepted after revision: November 24, 2008
Published online: January 26, 2010
Number of Print Pages : 6
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 3, Number of References : 20


 goto top of outline Publication Details

Gerontology (International Journal of Experimental, Clinical, Behavioural and Technological Gerontology)

Vol. 56, No. 1, Year 2010 (Cover Date: January 2010)

Journal Editor: Wick G. (Innsbruck)
ISSN: 0304-324X (Print), eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER


Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

Abstract

Background: As the proportion of adults aged 85 and older increases, investigations of resources essential for adapting to the challenges of aging are required. Objective: To comprehensively investigate the social resources of cognitively intact centenarians participating in the Georgia Centenarian Study and the association between these resources and residence status. Methods: Two widely used measures of social resources were investigated among participants living in private homes, personal care facilities, and nursing homes. Logistic regression was used to determine significant predictors of nursing home residence. Results: Differences in levels of social resources were found between centenarians and octogenarians, and among centenarians in different living situations. Analyses revealed differential findings between self- and proxy reports. Controlling for education, activities of daily living, and financial ability to meet needs, only one of the two social resources measures significantly reduced the odds of nursing home residence. Conclusion: The findings of this study add to the existing literature on one of the basic adaptive resources (social resources) for centenarians. Whether a more specific assessment of network contact is employed, or a more global assessment is used, differences in these constructs exist between centenarians and octogenarians, among centenarians in differing living conditions, and across types of informants. Researchers examining the different resources that may contribute to extraordinary longevity and positive adaptation may find it essential to differentiate between the oldest old and centenarians, and to account for differences based upon measure, reporter type, and centenarian residence status.



 goto top of outline Author Contacts

G. Kevin Randall, MD
Family and Consumer Sciences, 05 Bradley Hall, Bradley University
1501 West Bradley Avenue
Peoria, IL 61625 (USA)
Tel. +1 309 677 3202, Fax +1 309 677 3813, E-Mail krandall@bradley.edu


 goto top of outline Article Information

Additional authors include S.M. Jazwinski, R.C. Green, M. Gearing, W.R. Markesbery, J.L. Woodard, M.A. Johnson, J.S. Tenover, I.C. Siegler, W.L. Rodgers, D.B. Hausman, C. Rott, A. Davey, and J. Arnold.

Received: April 8, 2008
Accepted after revision: November 24, 2008
Published online: January 26, 2010
Number of Print Pages : 6
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 3, Number of References : 20


 goto top of outline Publication Details

Gerontology (International Journal of Experimental, Clinical, Behavioural and Technological Gerontology)

Vol. 56, No. 1, Year 2010 (Cover Date: January 2010)

Journal Editor: Wick G. (Innsbruck)
ISSN: 0304-324X (Print), eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER


Copyright / Drug Dosage

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

References

  1. Vaupel JW: The biodemography of aging. Popul Dev Rev 2004;30:48–62.

    External Resources

  2. Harman D: Aging: overview. Ann NY Acad Sci 2001;928:1–21.
  3. Ball MM, Perkins MM, Whittington FJ, et al: Managing decline in assisted living: the key to aging in place. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2004;59:S202–S212.

    External Resources

  4. Mitchell JM, Kemp BJ: Quality of life in assisted living homes: a multidimensional analysis. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2000;55:P117–P127.
  5. Street D, Burge S, Quadagno J, et al: The salience of social relationships for resident well-being in assisted living. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2007;62:S129–S134.
  6. Martin P, Poon LW, Kim E, et al: Social and psychological resources in the oldest old. Exp Aging Res 1996;22:121–139.
  7. Braungart Fauth E, Zarit SH, Malmberg B, Johansson B: Physical, cognitive, and psychosocial variables from the Disablement Process Model predict patterns of independence and the transition into disability for the oldest-old. Gerontologist 2007;47:613–624.

    External Resources

  8. Burholt V, Windle G, Ferring D, et al: Reliability and validity of the Older Americans Resources and Services (OARS) Social Resources Scale in six European countries. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2007;62:S371–S379.
  9. Mavandadi S, Rook KS, Newsom JT: Positive and negative social exchanges and disability in later life: an investigation of trajectories of change. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2007;62:S361–S370.
  10. Fillenbaum GG: Multidimensional Functional Assessment of Older Adults: The Duke Older Americans Resources and Services Procedures. Hillsdale, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1994.
  11. Cutrona C, Russell D: The provisions of social relationships and adaptation to stress; in Jones JH, Perlman D (eds): Advances in Personal Relationships. Greenwich, JAI Press, 1987, pp 37–67.
  12. Baltes P: On the incomplete architecture of human ontogeny: selection, optimization, and compensation as foundation of developmental theory. Am Psychol 1997;52:366–380.
  13. Martin P, Martin M: Proximal and distal influences on development: the model of developmental adaptation. Dev Rev 2002;22:78–96.

    External Resources

  14. Gaugler JE, Duval S, Anderson KA, Kane RL: Predicting nursing home admission in the U.S.: a meta-analysis. BMC Geriatr 2007;7:13.
  15. Miller EA, Weissert WG: Predicting elderly people’s risk for nursing home placement, hospitalization, functional impairment, and mortality: a synthesis. Med Care Res Rev 2000;57:259–297.
  16. Martin P: Individual and social resources predicting well-being and functioning in the later years: conceptual models, research, and practice. Aging Int 2002;27:3–29.

    External Resources

  17. Poon LW, Jazwinkski SM, Green RC, et al: Contributors of longevity and adaptation: findings and new directions from the Georgia Centenarian Study; in: Perls TT (ed): Exceptional Longevity. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins, 2007.
  18. Folstein MF, Folstein SE, McHugh PR: ‘Mini-mental state’. A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. J Psychiatr Res 1975;12:189–198.
  19. Herbert TB, Cohen S: Measurement issues in research on psychosocial stress; in: Kaplan HB (ed) Psychosical Stress: Perspectives on Structure, Theory, Life-Course, and Methods. San Diego, Academic Press, 1996, pp 295–332.
  20. Reuben DB, Valle LA, Hays RD, et al: Measuring physical function in community-dwelling older persons: a comparison of self-administered, interviewer-administered, and performance-based measures. J Am Geriatr Soc 1995;43:17–23.