Participation in formal learning activities of older Europeans in poor and good healthReport as inadecuate

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European Journal of Ageing

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 115–127

First Online: 18 April 2016DOI: 10.1007-s10433-016-0371-6

Cite this article as: Golinowska, S., Sowa, A., Deeg, D. et al. Eur J Ageing 2016 13: 115. doi:10.1007-s10433-016-0371-6


Little attention has been given to the involvement in formal learning activities FLA in the older population when considering different health statuses. The aim of this study is to explore the extent to which possible predictors derived from previous research as well as a conceptual model of FLA differ for older people in poor and good health. Data are used from SHARE 2010-2011 for the 50+ populations in 16 European countries. Poor health is defined as self-report of having two or more chronic diseases assessed by a medical doctor, i.e. multimorbidity. Possible predictors of learning activities represent individual characteristics: functional limitations, demography age, gender, marital status and household size, human capital achieved level of education, employment, income and participation in other social activities. To assess the predictors of FLA, logistic regression models are used and average marginal estimates are compared across groups. In addition to multimorbidity, labour market activity is used as a grouping variable. The average participation of individuals in the group with multimorbidity was nearly 50 % lower than that in the group in good health 6.5 vs. 13.3 %. Regardless of multimorbidity, human capital proved to be significant predictors of FLA, especially in those active on the labour market. However, the associations were weaker in the multimorbidity group. Also, significant associations were observed of other types of social activities, in particular cultural and leisure activity and volunteering, with FLA. This study suggests that similar factors are predictors of FLA in older people with and without multimorbidity.

KeywordsOlder people Human capital Learning activities Labour market activity Morbidity Active ageing Successful ageing Responsible editor: H.-W. Wahl.

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Author: Stanisława Golinowska - Agnieszka Sowa - Dorly Deeg - Marco Socci - Andrea Principi - Ricardo Rodrigues - Stefania Ilinca



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