Aging in a networked society: older people, social networks, and wellbeing

Project: Research-related funding

Description

Aging in a networked society is a research project funded by Fondazione Cariplo aimed at investigating the impact of offline (traditional and face-to-face social networks) and online social networks (social relationships developed using SNSs) on older people’s wellbeing. In addition, this project aims to explore the role of smartphone and social networking sites (SNSs) use on older people’s social inclusion and intergenerational solidarity.This research will contribute to fill in some of the existing gaps in this field in a number of ways exploring the impact of the changes in older people’s offline social network characteristic on physical health, cognitive functions, and well-being, and assessing causal relationship between SNSs use and older people’s health and well-being.

Conducting such a complex research requires an interdisciplinary approach, using different reserarch methods on analysing a combination of qualitative and quantitative data and a complementary set of skills. A multidisciplinary team, mixing and bringing into collaboration sociologists (Department of Sociology of Social Research at Milano Bicocca), geriatrists, biologists and a neuropsychologists (Golci Cenci Foundation), experts in digital methods (School of Management at the University of Bath) will carry out the proposed research. AUSER, one of the most important voluntary organization in the field of active aging in Italy, is also partner in the project, providing privileged access to study members and providing feedback on the research design and the interpretation of the results. The project will also benefit from Dr. Kieran Walsh’s expertise, the Principal Investigator of the Horizon 2020 COST ACTION “Reducing Old-Age Social Exclusion: Collaborations in Research and Policy”.

The research findings will contribute to inform the decision making process through the formulation of guidelines and definition of best practices, adopting a dialogic approach with the stakeholders and the civil society.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/05/181/05/20