Social Integration of Older Adults in the Periphery of Israel in Two Different Settlement Types

Adi Vitman Schorr


The objective of the study is to examine which variables are connected to social integration of older people in their living settlement and whether the type of settlement is connected to the social integration of older adults, and to examine what variables function as mediators in the connection between the settlement type and social integration.

A convenience sample of 279 older adults aged 65 and over from urban and rural settlements have participated. Using bootstrap (moderation) method, we tested which variables moderate the relationship between settlement type and social integration.

The findings show that older adults who resided in rural settlements were more socially integrated into their living settlements compared to their counterparts who resided in urban settlements. The moderation analysis revealed that the effect of the settlement type on social integration was significant when there was no problem with outdoor mobility, but not when outdoor mobility was a problem, in both areas—rural and urban.

Social integration of older adults into their living settlements is highly connected to a number of living settlement attributes: a sense of belonging to the living settlements, familiarity with the physical settlement, and settlement characteristics (urban versus rural, a percentage of older adults, and amount of green spaces).

Keywords: rural settlements; social integration; older adults

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The Journal of Rural and Community Development is supported by SSHRC.