The Social Context of Aging (SoCA)

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.

Information on “Zorgnetwerken van kwetsbare ouderen” can be found on the Dutch faculty website.

SoCA is coordinated by prof. dr. Theo van Tilburg (

Group members

Boer, Alice de
Broese van Groenou, prof.dr. Marjolein
Huijsman, prof.dr. Martijn
Ingen, dr. Erik van
Merz, dr. Eva
Plas, A. Msc
Spekman, dr. Marloes
Suanet, dr. Bianca
Thomése, dr. Fleur
Tilburg, prof.dr. Theo van  Programme leader SoCA

PhD Students
Blok, Marije, MSc
Bouwman, Tamara MSc
Cuijvers, Guido
Dissels, Rosita, MSc
Elmer, Eddy 
Klok, Jolien, MSc
Klokgieters, Silvia, MSc
Kok, Almar, MSc
La Grouw, Yvonne, MSc
Overmars-Marx, drs. Tessa
Stolte, Elske, Msc
Swinkels, Joukje, MSc
Tienen, Ingrid van, MSc
Wildevuur, Sabine