Online Program

Quality of life of older South Africans: The role of social capital and disease

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 11:09 a.m. - 11:22 a.m.

Margaret Ralston, Department of Sociology, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS
Joel Negin, ssociate Professor of International Health and Director of Research, International Health, Sydney School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, Australia
Using a socio-environmental theory of aging and the first nationally representative population based study of older South Africans, WHO Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE), this paper aims to add to a small but growing literature on the influences on subjective well-being in non-Western countries. This research attempts to untangle the impacts of health and social capital on subjective well-being. It is unique as it looks at two important aspects of health in this population, HIV/AIDS status and chronic disease. Recent research has found that HIV-infected individuals report better quality of life and overall health status than the HIV-affected in a rural South African sample. In addition research has found chronic disease as an important predictor in older persons well-being in urban samples. Therefore, this paper explores the possible mediating relationship of social capital on the relationship between health and subjective well-being in a nationally representative sample. It is unknown whether traditional measures of social capital, such as trust, and informal and formal engagement 1) differ among individuals with different health statuses and 2) the overall mediating effect of social capital on the relationship between health and subjective well-being. Individuals with HIV/AIDS and other chronic conditions may be more connect to social resources do to different programs and health resources available to individuals who are ill. As more individuals are living longer with HIV/AIDS and other chronic conditions in South Africa this information will be important for policy addressing aging well. Important research and policy implication are discussed.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain how subjective well-being outcomes are important measures of population health. Discuss the relationship between HIV/AIDS, chronic health conditions and subjective well-being.

Keyword(s): Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been author and/or co-author on several peer-review journal articles studying aspect of older South Africans health and well-being. My scientific interests has been understanding the social aspects of aging populations health and well-being.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.