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Residential independence among older persons: community and individual factors


  • Jeffrey Burr


  • Jan Mutchler


The objective of this study is to evaluate an expanded version of the resource model of living arrangements among older persons. This expanded model includes community-level measures of geriatric health services and housing market conditions. We employ the first two waves of the National Survey of Families and Households to test static and longitudinal fixed effects models of residential living arrangements. We find that residing in areas with higher levels of geriatric health care services increases the likelihood of residential independence, net of other contextual factors and individual characteristics. Our results show that housing market conditions are not related to levels of or changes in residential independence when control variables are included in the models. The results for the individual-level resource variables show that persons with greater economic resources, more children, and better functional status are better able to maintain independence and are less likely to die or live in a nursing home. This study shows the utility of expanding on micro-level approaches to understanding community living arrangements among older persons. Future investigations should include measures of the policy environment, transportation constraints and opportunities, and a more complete array of indicators of health and social services oriented toward helping elderly persons maintain their independence. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey Burr & Jan Mutchler, 2007. "Residential independence among older persons: community and individual factors," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 26(1), pages 85-101, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:poprpr:v:26:y:2007:i:1:p:85-101
    DOI: 10.1007/s11113-007-9022-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Costa, Dora L., 1999. "A house of her own: old age assistance and the living arrangements of older nonmarried women," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 39-59, April.
    2. Haurin, Donald R & Hendershott, Patric H & Kim, Dongwook, 1993. "The Impact of Real Rents and Wages on Household Formation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 284-293, May.
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