Academic reputation

Many papers appear in high quality gerontological and sociological scientific journals (e.g. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Journal of Marriage and the Family, European Sociological Review, Ageing and Society, Personal Relationships, Research on Aging). The publications increasingly reflect new and unique perspectives on aging that are studied by the group, like the cohort-sequential comparisons on productive aging, the complexity of new family structures (stepfamilies) in later life, sharing informal caregiving within families, and evolutionary perspectives on grandparenting. In addition, publications on social networks and loneliness continue to receive a warm welcome by many journals.

Since 2008, grants were received from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO-MaGW – Middelgroot, data collection for new cohorts in LASA; VIDI interdisciplinair), the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw; three projects) and the European Union (PhD project). Funding was also received from the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP; various collaborations), Sluyterman van Loo Foundation (sponsored chair and PhD project), RabobankFoundation and CoalitieErbij (PhD pro­ject), and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS; post-doc and senior research time), and Fonds National de la Re­cherche Luxembourg (PhD project). Funding re­cently obtained will contribute to the elaboration of the programme by answering research ques­tions specifically on cohort differences, the application of evolutionary perspectives and on the application of ICT-based communication to strengthen networks. Extensive funding for data col­lection and knowledge dissemination is received from VWS and, by means of the Centre for Aging Research VU University, the Hofjes Codde en Van BerensteynFoundation.

NWO-MaGW appointed LASA as one of the six most important data collections on societal changes (NWO-Veranderingsstudies).

Societal relevance
The LASA study is a successful collaboration between scientific and societal partners. The Ministry of VWS has been funding the study since 1992. Each year, LASA answers three questions raised by different departments at the Ministry, and discusses the outcomes with staff members of the Ministry. This strengthens collaboration within the Ministry, and the use of expertise within the LASA group. Data from LASA are increasingly being used by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) in their reports, which are widely used in national and local policy processes.

Broese van Groenou is board member of the Amsterdam Center on Aging, a joint effort of research groups in VU University and VU Medical Center that aims to disseminate scientific knowledge on aging to policy, practice and the general public, and conduct research on aging.

Individually, staff members of SoCA engage in various societal activities, such as:

  • teaching in various courses addressed to students and professionals in elderly care (Windesheim; Thuiszorg Amsterdam);
  • writing books for the general public; chapters for Dutch and international handbooks directed at professionals;
  • articles in and editorial board membership of Gerõn, Tijd­schrift over ouder worden en maatschappij, Kennislink;
  • development and evaluation of various intervention programmes aimed at reducing loneliness;
  • writing chapters for a number of policy-relevant publications on care issues from the SCP; contributing to the Vilans Werkboek Eenzaamheid Ouderen available on internet;
  • participating in public debates on evolution theory.