Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Soc Sci Med. 2013 Mar;81:87-93. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.12.013. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Social role participation and the life course in healthy adults and individuals with osteoarthritis: are we overlooking the impact on the middle-aged?

Author information

Institute for Work and Health, Division of Health Care & Outcomes Research, Toronto Western Research Institute, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.


Little is known about life course differences in social role participation among those with chronic diseases. This study examined role salience (i.e., importance), role limitations, and role satisfaction among middle- and older-aged adults with and without osteoarthritis (OA) and its relationship to depression, stress, role conflict, health care utilization and coping behaviours. Participants were middle- and older-aged adults with OA (n = 177) or no chronic disabling conditions (n = 193), aged ≥40 years. Respondents were recruited through community advertising and clinics in Ontario, Canada (2009-2010). They completed a 45-50 min telephone interview and 20 min self-administered questionnaire assessing demographics (e.g., age, gender); health (e.g., pain, functional limitations, health care utilization); the Social Role Participation Questionnaire (SRPQ) (role salience, limitations, satisfaction in 12 domains), and psychological variables (e.g., depression, stress, role conflict, behavioural coping). Analyses included two-way ANOVAs, correlations, and linear regression. Results indicated that middle-aged adults (40-59 years) reported greater role salience than older-aged adults (60 + years). Middle-aged adults with OA reported significantly greater role limitations and more health care utilization than all other groups. Middle-aged adults and those with OA also reported greater depression, stress, role conflict, and behavioural coping efforts than older adults or healthy controls. Controlling for age and OA, those with higher role salience and greater role limitations reported more health care utilization. Those with greater role limitations and lower role satisfaction reported greater depression, stress, role conflict, and behavioural coping. This study has implications for research and interventions, highlighting the need to characterize role participation as multidimensional. It points to the importance of taking into account the meaning of roles at different ages among those with chronic diseases like OA when developing interventions to help understand the impact of roles on psychological well-being.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center