Regional variation in social isolation amongst older Australians

Beer, Andrew, Faulkner, Debbie, Law, Julia, Lewin, Gill, Tinker, Anthea, Buys, Laurie, Bentley, Rebecca, Watt, Amber, McKechnie, Sue, & Chessman, Susan (2016) Regional variation in social isolation amongst older Australians. Regional Studies, Regional Science, 3(1), pp. 170-184.

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Regional studies globally have a strong focus on understanding the causes of variation in the economic performance and wellbeing of regions and this emphasis acknowledges that the strength of the local or regional economy plays a determinant role in shaping quality of life. Regional research has been less active in considering spatial variation in other factors that are critical to individual and societal wellbeing. For example, the regional studies community has been absent from the debate on the social determinants of health and how these influences vary spatially. This paper considers the results of a cross sectional survey of Australians aged 65 and over that focussed on social connections and wellbeing. It examines regional variations in the incidence of social isolation within the older population. It finds that while the incidence of self-reported social isolation amongst older persons is broadly consistent with earlier studies, it demonstrates a spatial patterning that is unexpected. The paper considers community-building activities in addressing the impacts of social isolation, including the role of urban design, and suggests that there is a need to supplement the national overview presented there through more detailed studies focussed on individual localities.

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ID Code: 93949
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: social isolation, regions, ageing, Australia, social capital
DOI: 10.1080/21681376.2016.1144481
ISSN: 2168-1376
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Copyright Owner: 2016 The Author(s)
Copyright Statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Regional Studies, Regional Science on 2016, available online:
Deposited On: 21 Mar 2016 01:52
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2016 04:18

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