Summary of key findings

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Social participation and the health and well-being of Canadian seniors

Publication: Health Reports 2012:23(4)

Authors: Heather Gilmour

Data: 2008/2009 Canadian Community Health Survey–Healthy Aging

Social participation has been associated with health and well-being in older adults.

Data from the 2008/2009 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS)—Healthy Aging were used to examine the relationship between frequent social participation and self-perceived health, loneliness and life dissatisfaction in a sample of 16,369 people aged 65 or older. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify significant relationships, while adjusting for potential confounders. The mediating role of social support and the prevalence of reported barriers to greater social participation were also examined.

An estimated 80% of seniors were frequent participants in at least one social activity. As the number of different types of frequent social activities increased, so did the strength of associations between social participation and positive self-perceived health, loneliness, and life dissatisfaction. The associations generally remained significant, but were attenuated by individual social support dimensions. The desire to be more involved in social activities was reported by 21% of senior men and 27% of senior women.

Full article

For more information about this article, please contact Heather Gilmour (1-613-951-2114;, Health Analysis Division.