• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of jurbhealthspringer.comThis journalToc AlertsSubmit OnlineOpen ChoiceThis journal
J Urban Health. Mar 2004; 81(1): 64–78.
PMCID: PMC3456134

A social model for health promotion for an aging population: Initial evidence on the experience corps model

Abstract

This report evaluates whether a program for older volunteers, designed for both benerativity and health promotion, leads to short-term improvements inmultiple behavioral risk factors and positive effects on intermediary risk factors for disability and other morbidities. The Experience Corps® places older volunteers in public elementary schools in roles designed to meet schools’ needs and increase the social, physical, and cognitive activity of the volunteers. This article reports on a pilot randomized trial in Baltimore, Maryland. The 128 volunteers were 60–86 years old; 95% were African American. At follow-up of 4–8 months, physical activity, strength, people one could turn to for help, and cognitive activity increased significantly, and walking speed decreased significantly less, in participants compared to controls. In this pilot trial, physical, cognitive, and social activity increased, suggesting the potential for the Experience Corps to improve health for an aging population and simultaneously improve educational outcomes for children.

Keywords: Compression of morbidity, Generativity, Healthy aging, Older volunteer, Social engagement

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (137K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
1. Rowe JW, Kahn RL. Successful aging. Aging (Milano) 1998;10:142–144. [PubMed]
2. Rowe JW, Kahn RL. Human aging: usual and successful. Science. 1987;237:143–149. [PubMed]
3. Stuck AE, Walthert JM, Nikolaus T, Bula CJ, Hohmann C, Beck JC. Risk factors for functional status decline in community-living elderly people: a systematic literature review. Soc Sci Med. 1999;48:445–469. doi: 10.1016/S0277-9536(98)00370-0. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
4. Tinetti ME, Baker DI, McAvay G, et al. A multifactorial intervention to reduce the risk of falling among elderly people living in the community. N Engl J Med. 1994;331:821–827. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199409293311301. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
5. Appel LJ, Champagne CM, Harsha DW, et al. Writing Group for the PREMIER Collaborative Research Group. Effects of comprehensive lifestyle modification on blood pressure control: main results of the PREMIER clinical trial. JAMA. 2003;289:2083–2093. doi: 10.1001/jama.289.16.2083. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
6. Fried LP, Kronmal RA, Bild D, et al. Risk factors for 5-year mortality in older adults: the Cardiovascular Health Study. JAMA. 1998;279:585–592. doi: 10.1001/jama.279.8.585. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
7. Glass TA, Mendes de Leon CF, Marottoli RA, Berkman LF. Population based study of social and productive activities as predictors of survival among elderly Americans. BMJ. 1999;319:478–483. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
8. Moen P, Dempster McClain D, Williams RM. Social integration and longevity: an event history analysis of women’s roles and resilience. Am Sociol Rev. 1989;54:635–647. doi: 10.2307/2095884. [Cross Ref]
9. Steinbach U. Social networks, institutionalization, and mortality among elderly people in the United States. J Gerontol: Soc Sci. 1992;47:S183–S190. [PubMed]
10. Welin L, Larsson B, Svardsudd K, Tibblin B, Tibblin G. Social network and activities in relation to mortality from cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other causes — a 12 year follow up of the study of men born in 1913 and 1923. J Epidemiol Community Health. 1992;46:127–132. doi: 10.1136/jech.46.2.127. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
11. Garrity TF. Social involvement and activeness a predictors of morale 6 months after first myocardial infarction. Soc Sci Med. 1973;7:199–207. doi: 10.1016/0037-7856(73)90085-1. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
12. Glass TA. Successful aging. In: Tallis RC, Fillit HM, editors. Brocklehurst’s Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. 6th. ed. London: Harcourt Health Sciences; 2003. pp. 173–181.
13. Lennartsson C, Silverstein M. Does engagement with life enhance survival of elderly people in Sweden? The role of social and leisure activities. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2001;56:S335–S342. [PubMed]
14. Maddox GL. Activity and morale: a longitudinal study of selected elderly subjects. Soc Forces. 1963;42:195–204. doi: 10.2307/2575692. [Cross Ref]
15. Unger JB, Johnson CA, Marks G. Functional decline in the elderly: evidence for direct and stress-buffering protective effects of social interactions and physical activity. Ann Behav Med. 1997;19:152–160. doi: 10.1007/BF02883332. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
16. Bassuk SS, Glass TA, Berkman LF. Social disengagement and incident cognitive decline in community-dwelling elderly persons. Ann Intern Med. 1999;131:165–173. [PubMed]
17. Fratiglioni L, Wang H, Ericsson K, Maytan M, Winblad B. Influence of social network on occurrence of dementia: a community-based longitudinal study. Lancet. 2000;355:1315–1319. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(00)02113-9. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
18. Arbuckle TY, Maag U, Pushkar D, Chaikelson JS. Individual differences in trajectory of intellectual development over 45 years of adulthood. Psychol Aging. 1998;13:663–675. doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.13.4.663. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
19. Baltes PB, Willis SL. Plasticity and enhancement of intellectual functioning in old age: Penn State’s Adult Development and Enrichment Project (ADEPT) In: Craik FIM, Trehub SE, editors. Aging and cognitive processes. New York: plenum press; 1982. pp. 353–389.
20. Wilson RS, Bennett DA, Beckett LA, et al. Cognitive activity in older persons from a geographically defined population. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 1999;54:155–P160. [PubMed]
21. Schaie KW. Intellectual Development in Adulthood: the Seattle Longitudinal Study. New York: Cambridge University Press; 1996.
22. Scarmeas N, Levy G, Tang MX, Manly J, Stern Y. Influence of leisure activity on the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurology. 2001;57:2236–2242. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
23. Wang HX, Karp A, Winblad B, Fratiglioni L. Late-life engagement in social and leisure activities is associated with a decreased risk of dementia: a longitudinal study from the Kungsholmen project. Am J Epidemiol. 2002;155:1081–1087. doi: 10.1093/aje/155.12.1081. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
24. Wilson RS, Mendes De Leon CF, Barnes LL, et al. Participation in cognitively stimulating activities and risk of incident Alzheimer disease. JAMA. 2002;287:742–748. doi: 10.1001/jama.287.6.742. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
25. Wagner EH, LaCroix AZ, Buchner DM, Larson EB. Effects of physical activity on health status in older adults. I: Observational studies. Annu Rev Public Health. 1992;13:451–468. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pu.13.050192.002315. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
26. Wagner EH, LaCroix AZ, Grothaus L, et al. Preventing disability and falls in older adults: a population-based randomized trial. Am J Public Health. 1994;84:1800–1806. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.84.11.1800. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
27. Andersen RE, Blair SN, Cheskin LJ, Bartlett SJ. Encouraging patients to become more physically active: the physician’s role. Ann Intern Med. 1997;127:395–400. [PubMed]
28. Young DR, He X, Harris J, Mabry I. Environmental, policy, and cultural factors related to physical activity in well-educated urban African American women. Women Health. 2002;36:29–41. doi: 10.1300/J013v36n02_03. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
29. Young DR, Gittelsohn J, Charleston J, Felix-Aaron K, Appel LJ. Motivations for exercise and weight loss among African-American women: focus group results and their contribution towards program development. Ethn Health. 2001;6:227–245. doi: 10.1080/13557850120078143. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
30. Ball K, Berch DB, Helmers KF, et al. Effects of cognitive training interventions with older adults: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2002;288:2271–2281. doi: 10.1001/jama.288.18.2271. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
31. Jobe JB, Smith DM, Ball K, et al. ACTIVE: a cognitive intervention trial to promote independence in older adults. Control Clin Trials. 2001;22:453–479. doi: 10.1016/S0197-2456(01)00139-8. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
32. Riley MW, editor. Age and Structural Lag: Society’s Failure to Provide Meaningful Opportunities in Work, Family, and Leisure. New York: John Wiley and Sons; 1994.
33. Riley MW, Kahn R, Foner N. Age and Structural Lag. New York: John Wiley and Sons; 1996.
34. Andersen R, Crespo C, Bartlett S, Cheskin L, Pratt M. Relationship of physical activity and television watching with body weight and level of fatness among children. JAMA. 1998;279:938–942. doi: 10.1001/jama.279.12.938. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
35. Fried LP. Health status and related care-seeking behavior of older women. In: Falik M, Collins KS, editors. Women’s Health: the Commonwealth Fund Survey. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press; 1996. pp. 175–204.
36. Fried LP, Freedman M, Endres TE, Wasik B. Building communities that promote successful aging. West J Med. 1997;167:216–219. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
37. Freedman M, Fried L. Launching Experience Corps: Findings From a 2-Year Pilot Project Mobilizing Older Americans to Help Inner-City Elementary Schools. Oakland, CA: Civic Ventures; 1999.
38. Rebok GW, Carlson M, Glass TA, et al. Effects of Experience Corps participation on young children, teachers, and schools: Results from a randomized pilot trial. J Urban health. 2004;81(1):79–93. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
39. Glass TA, Carlson M, Freedman M, et al. Experience Corps: design of an intergenerational health-promotion program to boost social capital. J Urban health. 2004;81(1):94–105. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
40. Seniors for Schools Evaluation Report, 1999–2000 School Year. San Mateo, CA: Project Star; 2001.
41. Folstein MF, Folstein SE, McHugh PR. Mini-Mental State.» A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. J Psychiatr Res. 1975;12:189–198. doi: 10.1016/0022-3956(75)90026-6. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
42. Reitan R. Validity of the Trail Making Test as an indicator of organic brain damage. Perceptual Motor Skills. 1958;8:271–276. doi: 10.2466/PMS.8.7.271-276. [Cross Ref]
43. Guralnik JM, Fried LP, Simonsick EM, Kasper JD, Laffery ME, editors. The Women’s Health and Aging Study: Health and Social Characteristics of Older Women With Disability. Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Aging; 1995.
44. Fried LP, Borhani NO, Enright P, for the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) Collaborative Research Group et al. The Cardiovascular Health Study: design and rationale. Ann Epidemiol. 1991;1:263–276. doi: 10.1016/1047-2797(91)90005-W. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
45. Schuster TL, Kessler RC, Aseltine RH., Jr Supportive interactions, negative interactions, and depressed mood. Am J Community Psychol. 1990;18:423–438. doi: 10.1007/BF00938116. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
46. Carlson MC, Xue QL, Rebok GW, Matteini A, Bandeen-Roche K, Fried LP. Moderate intensity cognitive activity in late life predicts reduced cognitive decline and reduced cognitive impairment: The Women’s Health and Aging Study II. Manuscript submitted.
47. Fried LP. Epidemiology of aging. Epidemiol Rev. 2000;22:95–106. [PubMed]
48. Frick KD, Carlson M, Fried LP, Glass TG, Rebok G. Modeled Cost-Effectiveness of the Experience Corps Baltimore Based on a Pilot Randomized Trial. J Urban health. 2004;81(1):106–117. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
49. Andersen RE, Wadden TA, Bartlett SJ, Zemel B, Verde TJ, Franckowiak SC. Effects of lifestyle activity versus structured aerobic exercise in obese women: a randomized trial. JAMA. 1999;281:335–340. doi: 10.1001/jama.281.4.335. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]

Articles from Journal of Urban Health : Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine are provided here courtesy of New York Academy of Medicine

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    PubMed Central articles cited in books
  • MedGen
    MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...