Location, location, location: Close ties among older continuing care retirement community residents

Autoři: Liat Ayalon aff001;  Inbal Yahav aff002
Působiště autorů: Louis and Gabi Weisfeld School of Social Work, Bar Ilan University, Israel aff001;  Graduate School of Business Administration, Bar Ilan University, Israel aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225554


This study examines two theoretical explanations for the existence of close ties among continuing care retirement community residents: the attractiveness theory, which suggests that residents who possess certain attributes are more likely to be perceived as appealing to others; and the homophily theory, which argues that individuals are more likely to have close ties with people who share similar attributes. As a variant of the homophily theory, we also examined whether sharing a physical location makes the existence of certain connections more likely. Data from four continuing care retirement communities were used. To test the attractiveness theory, correlations between the number of individuals who named a person as a significant contact (ego’s in-degree) and ego attributes were examined. To test the homophily theory, the median value of existing ties was compared against all possible social ties as though they were randomly formed. Finally, to further test the role of the institutional culture against various motivations that drive social ties—attractiveness and homophily—we used link prediction models with random forests. In support of the homophily theory, beyond the institutional culture, the only consistent predictor of the existence of close ties among residents was sharing a wing in the retirement community (geographic proximity). Therefore, we discuss the role of the physical location in the lives of older adults.

Klíčová slova:

Behavioral and social aspects of health – Cognitive impairment – Elderly – Long-term care – Social networks – Social research – Social status


1. Hawkley LC, Kocherginsky M. Transitions in loneliness among older adults: A 5-year follow-up in the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project. Research on Aging. 2018;40(4):365–87. doi: 10.1177/0164027517698965 29519211

2. Ayalon L, Shiovitz-Ezra S, Palgi Y. No place like home? Potential pathways to loneliness in older adults under the care of a live-in foreign home care worker. The Journal of Psychology. 2012;146(1–2):189–200. doi: 10.1080/00223980.2011.574169 22303620

3. Cattan M, White M, Bond J, Learmouth A. Preventing social isolation and loneliness among older people: a systematic review of health promotion interventions. Ageing & Society. 2005;25(1):41–67.

4. Dickens AP, Richards SH, Greaves CJ, Campbell JL. Interventions targeting social isolation in older people: a systematic review. BMC Public Health. 2011;11(1):647.

5. Campbell N. Designing for social needs to support aging in place within continuing care retirement communities. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment. 2015;30(4):645–65.

6. Iecovich E. The long-term care insurance law in Israel: present and future. Journal of Aging & Social Policy. 2012;24(1):77–92.

7. Gamliel T, Hazan H. The meaning of stigma: identity construction in two old-age institutions. Ageing & Society. 2006;26(3):355–71.

8. Ayalon L. Intergenerational perspectives on autonomy following a transition to a continuing care retirement community. Research on Aging. 2015:0164027515575029.

9. Ayalon L. Do not hear, see, or speak: views of older residents and their adult children about the nursing unit in the continuing care retirement community. International Psychogeriatrics. 2016;28(11):1867–77. doi: 10.1017/S1041610216000788 27405736

10. Bekhet AK, Zauszniewski JA, Nakhla WE. Reasons for relocation to retirement communities: A qualitative study. Western Journal of Nursing Research. 2009;31(4):462–79. doi: 10.1177/0193945909332009 19246417

11. Krout JA, Moen P, Holmes HH, Oggins J, Bowen N. Reasons for relocation to a continuing care retirement community. Journal of Applied Gerontology. 2002;21(2):236–56.

12. Ayalon L, Greed O. A typology of new residents' adjustment to continuing care retirement communities. The Gerontologist. 2015.

13. Buys LR. Life in a retirement village: implications for contact with community and village friends. Gerontology. 2001;47(1):55. doi: 10.1159/000052771 11244293

14. Ayalon L, Yahav I, Lesser O. From a bird's eye view: A social network perspective on older adults in adult day care centers and continuing care retirement communities. Innovation in Aging. 2018. https://doi.org/10.1093/geroni/igy024

15. Ayalon L. Loneliness and anxiety about aging in adult day care centers and continuing care retirement communities. Innovation in Aging. 2018;2(2):igy021–igy. doi: 10.1093/geroni/igy021 30480141

16. Crisp DA, Windsor TD, Butterworth P, Anstey KJ. Adapting to retirement community life: Changes in social networks and perceived loneliness. Journal of Relationships Research. 2015;6.

17. Taylor HO, Wang Y, Morrow-Howell N. Loneliness in senior housing communities. Journal of Gerontological Social Work. 2018;61(6):623–39. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2018.1478352 29791279

18. Herron RV, Funk L, Spencer D, Wrathall M. Assisted living facilities as sites of encounter: implications for older adults’ experiences of inclusion and exclusion. Ageing & Society. 2019:1–17.

19. Elias SMS. Prevalence of loneliness, anxiety, and depression among older people living in long-term care: a review. International Journal Of Care Scholars. 2018;1(1):39–43.

20. Carstensen LL. Social and emotional patterns in adulthood: support for socioemotional selectivity theory. Psychology and Aging. 1992;7(3):331. doi: 10.1037//0882-7974.7.3.331 1388852

21. Anderson C, John OP, Keltner D, Kring AM. Who attains social status? Effects of personality and physical attractiveness in social groups. J Personality and SocialPsychology. 2001;81(1):116–32. Epub 2001/07/28. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.81.1.116 11474718.

22. Lukaszewski AW, Simmons ZL, Anderson C, Roney JR. The role of physical formidability in human social status allocation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2016;110(3):385. doi: 10.1037/pspi0000042 26653896

23. Frevert TK, Walker LS. Physical attractiveness and social status. Sociology Compass. 2014;8(3):313–23.

24. Feiler DC, Kleinbaum AM. Popularity, similarity, and the network extraversion bias. Psychological Science. 2015;26(5):593–603. doi: 10.1177/0956797615569580 25838113

25. Shippee TP. “But I am not moving”: Residents' perspectives on transitions within a continuing care retirement community. The Gerontologist. 2009;49(3):418–27. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnp030 19372143

26. Schafer MH. Health as status? Network relations and social structure in an American retirement community. Ageing & Society. 2016;36(1):79–105.

27. Abbott KM, Bettger JP, Hampton KN, Kohler HP. The feasibility of measuring social networks among older adults in assisted living and dementia special care units. Dementia (London, England). 2015;14(2):199–219. Epub 2013/12/18. doi: 10.1177/1471301213494524 24339099.

28. Casey A-NS, Low L-F, Jeon Y-H, Brodaty H. Residents perceptions of friendship and positive social networks within a nursing home. The Gerontologist. 2016;56(5):855–67. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnv146 26603182

29. Ayalon L. Perceptions of old age and aging in the continuing care retirement community. International Psychogeriatrics. 2015;27(04):611–20.

30. Marsden PV. Homogeneity in confiding relations. Social networks. 1988;10(1):57–76.

31. McPherson M, Smith-Lovin L, Cook JM. Birds of a feather: Homophily in social networks. Annual Review of Sociology. 2001;27(1):415–44.

32. Lazarsfeld PF, Merton RK. Friendship as a social process: A substantive and methodological analysis. Freedom and Control in Modern Society. 1954;18(1):18–66.

33. Shrum W, Cheek NH Jr, MacD S. Friendship in school: Gender and racial homophily. Sociology of Education. 1988:227–39.

34. Smith JA, McPherson M, Smith-Lovin L. Social distance in the United States: Sex, race, religion, age, and education homophily among confidants, 1985 to 2004. American Sociological Review. 2014;79(3):432–56.

35. Hagestad GO, Uhlenberg P. The social separation of old and young: A root of ageism. Journal of Social Issues. 2005;61(2):343–60.

36. Uhlenberg P, Gierveld JDJ. Age-segregation in later life: An examination of personal networks. Ageing & Society. 2004;24(1):5–28.

37. Skopek J, Schulz F, Blossfeld H-P. Who contacts whom? Educational homophily in online mate selection. European Sociological Review. 2011;27(2):180–95. doi: 10.1093/esr/jcp068

38. Pickett KE, Pearl M. Multilevel analyses of neighbourhood socioeconomic context and health outcomes: a critical review. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. 2001;55(2):111–22.

39. Priest RF, Sawyer J. Proximity and peership: Bases of balance in interpersonal attraction. American Journal of Sociology. 1967;72(6):633–49.

40. Schutte JG, Light JM. The relative importance of proximity and status for friendship choices in social hierarchies. Social Psychology. 1978:260–4.

41. Tesch FE, Huston TL, Indenbaum EA. Attitude similarity, attraction, and physical proximity in a dynamic space 1. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 1973;3(1):63–72.

42. Schafer MH. On the locality of asymmetric close relations: spatial proximity and health differences in a senior community. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. 2015;70(1):100–10.

43. Festinger L, Schachter S, Back K. Social pressures in informal groups; a study of human factors in housing. 1963. Palo Alto, CA, US: Stanford University Press.

44. van den Berg YH, Cillessen AH. Peer status and classroom seating arrangements: A social relations analysis. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 2015;130:19–34. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2014.09.007 25313926

45. Kahn A, McGaughey TA. Distance and liking: When moving close produces increased liking. Sociometry. 1977:138–44.

46. Katz AM, Hill R. Residential propinquity and marital selection: A review of theory, method, and fact. Marriage and Family Living. 1958;20(1):27–35.

47. Ebbesen EB, Kjos GL, Konečni VJ. Spatial ecology: Its effects on the choice of friends and enemies. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 1976;12(6):505–18.

48. Scott T, Mannion R, Davies H, Marshall M. The quantitative measurement of organizational culture in health care: a review of the available instruments. Health Services Research. 2003;38(3):923–45. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.00154 12822919

49. Parmelli E, Flodgren G, Beyer F, Baillie N, Schaafsma ME, Eccles MP. The effectiveness of strategies to change organisational culture to improve healthcare performance: a systematic review. Implementation Science. 2011;6(1):33.

50. Fehr, Ernst and Hoff, Karla, Tastes, Castes, and Culture: The Influence of Society on Preferences. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5919. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1921970

51. Gudykunst WB, Ting-Toomey S, Chua E. Culture and interpersonal communication. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage Publications, Inc; 1988.

52. Martin JN, Nakayama TK. Thinking dialectically about culture and communication. Communication Theory. 1999;9(1):1–25.

53. Steensma HK, Marino L, Weaver KM, Dickson PH. The influence of national culture on the formation of technology alliances by entrepreneurial firms. Academy of Management Journal. 2000;43(5):951–73.

54. Ayalon L, Levkovich I. A systematic review of research on social networks of older adults. The Gerontologist. 2018.

55. Emirbayer M, Goodwin J. Network analysis, culture, and the problem of agency. American Journal of Sociology. 1994;99(6):1411–54.

56. Kim Y, Sohn D, Choi SM. Cultural difference in motivations for using social network sites: A comparative study of American and Korean college students. Computers in Human Behavior. 2011;27(1):365–72.

57. Brass DJ, Galaskiewicz J, Greve HR, Tsai W. Taking stock of networks and organizations: A multilevel perspective. Academy of Management Journal. 2004;47(6):795–817.

58. Schein EH. Culture: The missing concept in organization studies. Administrative Science Quarterly. 1996:229–40.

59. Ayalon L. Perceptions of old age and aging in the continuing care retirement community. International Psychogeriatrics. 2015;27(4):611–20. doi: 10.1017/S1041610214002415 25391548

60. Antonucci TC, Akiyama H. An examination of sex differences in social support among older men and women. Sex Roles. 1987;17(11–12):737–49.

61. Schafer MH. Structural advantages of good health in old age investigating the health-begets-position hypothesis with a full social network. Research on Aging. 2013;35(3):348–70.

62. Schafer MH. Health and network centrality in a continuing care retirement community. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. 2011;66B(6):795–803. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbr112 21979938

63. Papadopoulos F, Kitsak M, Serrano MÁ, Boguná M, Krioukov D. Popularity versus similarity in growing networks. Nature. 2012;489(7417):537. doi: 10.1038/nature11459 22972194

64. Centola D. An experimental study of homophily in the adoption of health behavior. Science. 2011;334(6060):1269–72. doi: 10.1126/science.1207055 22144624

65. Cacioppo JT, Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Alone in the crowd: The structure and spread of loneliness in a large social network. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2009;97(6):977. doi: 10.1037/a0016076 19968414

66. Ayalon L, Green V. Grief in the initial adjustment process to the continuing care retirement community. Journal of aging studies. 2012;26(4):394–400. doi: 10.1016/j.jaging.2012.05.001 22939535

67. Ram U. The globalization of Israel: McWorld in Tel Aviv, Jihad in Jerusalem: Routledge; 2013.

68. Patton MQ. Qualitative research. In Encyclopedia of Statistics in Behavioral Science (eds Everitt B. S. and Howell D. C.). Wiley Online Library; 2005. doi: 10.1002/0470013192.bsa514

69. Lawton MP, Brody EM. Assessment of older people: self-maintaining and instrumental activities of daily living. The gerontologist. 1969;9(3_Part_1):179–86. 5349366

70. Adler NE, Epel ES, Castellazzo G, Ickovics JR. Relationship of subjective and objective social status with psychological and physiological functioning: preliminary data in healthy white women. Health Psychology. 2000;19(6):586–92. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.19.6.586 11129362.

71. Singh-Manoux A, Marmot MG, Adler NE. Does subjective social status predict health and change in health status better than objective status? doi: 10.1097/01.psy.0000188434.52941.a0 Psychosomatic Medicine. 2005;67(6):855–61. 16314589

72. Russell D, Peplau LA, Cutrona CE. The revised UCLA Loneliness Scale: concurrent and discriminant validity evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1980;39(3):472–80. Epub 1980/09/01. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.39.3.472 7431205

73. Hughes ME, Waite LJ, Hawkley LC, Cacioppo JT. A Short Scale for Measuring loneliness in large surveys results from two population-based studies. Research on Aging. 2004;26(6):655–72. doi: 10.1177/0164027504268574 18504506

74. Wasserman S, Faust K. Social network analysis: Methods and applications: Cambridge, UK: Cambridge university press; 1994.

75. R Development Core Team 2009: R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Austria Internet: http://www.R-project.org.2012.

76. Csardi G, Nepusz T. The igraph software package for complex network research. International Journal of Complex Systems. 2006;1695(5):1–9.

77. Athanasiou R, Yoshioka GA. The spatial character of friendship formation. Environment and behavior. 1973;5(1):43.

78. Liben‐Nowell D, Kleinberg J. The link‐prediction problem for social networks. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 2007;58(7):1019–31.

79. Zhang Y., Pang J. Distance and friendship: A distance-based model for link prediction in social networks. In: Cheng R., Cui B., Zhang Z., Cai R., Xu J. (eds). Web Technologies and Applications. APWeb 2015. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 9313. 2015; Springer, Cham

80. Caragea D, Bahirwani V, Aljandal W, Hsu WH, editors. Ontology-based link prediction in the livejournal social network. Eighth Symposium on Abstraction, Reformulation, and Approximation; 2009.

81. Wang X, Sukthankar G, editors. Link prediction in multi-relational collaboration networks. Proceedings of the 2013 IEEE/ACM international conference on advances in social networks analysis and mining; 2013: ACM.

82. Hothorn T, Hornik K, Zeileis A. Unbiased recursive partitioning: A conditional inference framework. Journal of Computational and Graphical statistics. 2006;15(3):651–74.

83. Liaw A, Wiener M. Classification and regression by randomForest. R news. 2002;2(3):18–22.

84. Guns R, Rousseau R. Recommending research collaborations using link prediction and random forest classifiers. Scientometrics. 2014;101(2):1461–73.

85. Rowles GD. The surveillance zone as meaningful space for the aged. The Gerontologist. 1981;21(3):304–11. doi: 10.1093/geront/21.3.304 7239259

86. Casey A-NS, Low L-F, Jeon Y-H, Brodaty H. Residents perceptions of friendship and positive social networks within a nursing home. The Gerontologist. 2015;56(5):855–67. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnv146 26603182

Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 11