Social Factors and Healthy Aging: Findings from the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study (LHAS)

in Kinesiology Review

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Katie E. Cherry
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Jennifer Silva Brown
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Sangkyu Kim
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S. Michal Jazwinski
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Social behaviors are associated with health outcomes in later life. The authors examined relationships among social and physical activities and health in a lifespan sample of adults (N = 771) drawn from the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study (LHAS). Four age groups were compared: younger (21–44 years), middle-aged (45–64 years), older (65–84 years), and oldest-old adults (85–101 years). Linear regression analyses indicated that physical activity, hours spent outside of the house, and social support were significantly associated with selfreported health, after controlling for sociodemographic factors. Number of clubs was significantly associated with objective health status, after controlling for sociodemographic factors. These data indicate that social and physical activities remain important determinants of self-perceived health into very late adulthood. Implications of these data for current views on successful aging are discussed.

Cherry is with the Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. Silva Brown is with the Department of Behavioral Sciences, Drury University, Springfield, MO. Kim and Jazwinski are with the Tulane Center for Aging, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA.

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