Measuring Social Embeddedness of Older Adults

  • Sarmitė Mikulionienė
  • Inga Gaižauskaitė
  • Ramunė Dirvanskienė
Keywords: social participation, civic participation, sense of belonging, older adults, quantitative survey, measurement


In an ageing society facing challenges for the sustainable well-being of older adults, there has been an increasing focus on the potential of soft power in recent years. Like economic and structural, social indicators can become integral indicators of older generations’ well-being. This study aims to propose a construct of the social embeddedness of older adults and its measurement tool, based on a critical review of the literature and the results of an original empirical study, to fill the knowledge gap in current statistics in the field. A critical review of the literature has disclosed that, despite many studies done, we do not have a methodological tool suitable for revealing patterns of social ties specific to older adults. The results of an empirical study of the population aged 50 and over in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia (N = 2015) showed that the social embeddedness of older people in the Baltics is composed of these domains: socialisation with descendants, nonfamily and outside home – together named as social participation; civic participation and sense of belonging. Future research should look at ways to shorten this scale to adapt it to the needs of practical use.