The programme aims at identifying the determinants and consequences of social participation in later life, in particular participation in and through social networks. Outcomes and determinants include the individual level - such as health and wellbeing, socio-economic and household characteristics – and the family, network and societal levels. In our view, participation and its antecedents or consequences exist within a specific social and societal context.
The overarching research question of the programme is: What are the individual and contextual determinants and consequences of variations in older adult’s participation in social networks and how do they vary over time and place?
The programme’s heuristic framework is based on the model of differential aging within gerontology and the life course perspective within sociology. The focus on time and social context in the analysis of individual participation is a distinctive feature of the research programme.