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J Aging Res. 2012;2012:360254. doi: 10.1155/2012/360254. Epub 2012 Jan 23.

Is collective efficacy age graded? The development and evaluation of a new measure of collective efficacy for older adults.

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Center on the Demography and Economics of Aging, NORC and the University of Chicago, 1155 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Objectives. Community processes are key determinants of older adults' ability to age in place, but existing scales measuring these constructs may not provide accurate, unbiased measurements among older adults because they were designed with the concerns of child-rearing respondents in mind. This study examines the properties of a new theory-based measure of collective efficacy (CE) that accounts for the perspectives of older residents. Methods. Data come from the population-based Chicago Neighborhood Organization, Aging and Health study (N = 1,151), which surveyed adults aged 65 to 95. Using descriptive statistics, correlations, and factor analysis, we explored the acceptability, reliability, and validity of the new measure. Results. Principal component analysis indicated that the new scale measures a single latent factor. It had good internal consistency reliability, was highly correlated with the original scale, and was similarly associated with neighborhood exchange and disorder, self-rated health, mobility, and loneliness. The new scale also showed less age-differentiated nonresponse compared to the original scale. Discussion. The older adult CE scale has reliability and validity equivalent to that of the existing measure but benefits from a more developed theoretical grounding and reduced likelihood of age-related differential nonresponse.

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