Area effects on the level and development of social exclusion in later life

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Abstract

Social exclusion in later life is associated with decreased quality of life and poorer health outcomes. Reducing the number of people at risk of exclusion is a key theme in European social policy, but there is limited understanding of the relationship between neighbourhood characteristics, personal attributes and the level and development of social exclusion in later life. In this paper, cross-classified multilevel growth curve models for predicting exclusion are fitted to seven waves of data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, collected between 2002 and 2015, allowing for the investigation of causal mechanisms linking area characteristics and exclusion in later life, including access to services and amenities, participation in civic, cultural and leisure activities and relationships with friends and family. Results show that living in a deprived area is associated with increased levels of exclusion, and this explained the higher levels of exclusion found for urban compared with rural areas. Population turnover among local residents did not impact on exclusion levels, but length of residence and the degree to which a person feels attached to their neighbourhood did, with ageing in place and stronger attachments predicting lower levels of social exclusion. In terms of individual characteristics, men, those in poor health, those with low levels of wealth or education, and those aged 80 or older, were more likely to experience increased levels of exclusion, while retirement and marriage provided a protective effect. The paper contributes new insights into the pathways through which characteristics of both individuals and neighbourhoods predict higher levels of social exclusion in later life, and concludes by discussing the policy implications raised by the research.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article number112722
JournalSocial science & medicine (1982)
Volume246
Early online date5 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

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