describe the factors that enhance social connectedness of a place

As one lamented: I'm sure there are lots of lonely people like me. I've then got to find parking and then walk a distance to go [where] I'm going to. And then working with people and really getting to know people, instead of just sitting within four walls. MF02: Oh yeah. By contrast, Korean group discussion participants expressed feelings of alarm when it arose through conversation that only one of them knew that the former New Zealand Prime Minister had recently resigned. These are all about the meaning of the relationship for the older person. Many participants who wanted to travel independently shared the difficulties they experienced with public transport, which was described as deeply unreliable with buses rarely running to schedule. discussion of factors that enhance social connectedness eg transport, technology, open spaces, meeting places, employment ; Enhancing liveability Students: investigate strategies used to enhance the liveability of places using examples from different countries, for example: (ACHGK047) This included emphasising the importance of friendships, which signalled freely formed relationships and potentially lessened their reliance on family (Kohli et al., Reference Kohli, Hank and Künemund2009; Shin, Reference Shin2014). In the remainder of cases participants did not have pets; many said this was because they did not think they could look after them effectively or expressed some conflict about whether the feeling of connection they might attain from a pet would offset the burden involved with taking care of them. It’s important to remember that not all social connections are healthy. 2020. Further questions explored experiences of loneliness and barriers and facilitators to social connectedness. Providing clear avenues for older people to volunteer for existing organisations (which may include transport for them to get there) as well as providing support for older people to start their own groups (by offering community spaces at no charge or providing starter funds) are practical steps government and third-sector groups can take to promote social connectedness (Emlet and Moceri, Reference Emlet and Moceri2012). Notably, friendships featured far less in Pacific participants’ narratives, which tended to be centred on the importance of close connection to their family with whom most lived. "openAccess": "0", Future research could utilise non-representational theories of health that combine material, sensory and affective processes with conscious thought and agency in order to explore further how social connectedness is made, negotiated and narrated in everyday life (Andrews, Reference Andrews2018). Male participants spoke about friendships as a space to learn new things and women talked about the importance of having close friendships; as one female European participant termed it, ‘di dinky’ (true and reliable) friendships (EF03), which enabled you to share your emotions and health concerns. In situations of poor health, we found that proximal environments, especially relationships with neighbours, became increasingly important for opportunities for daily experiences of connection (Yen et al., Reference Yen, Shim, Martinez and Baker2012; Michael and Yen, Reference Michael and Yen2014). Social connectedness is defined by frequency of contact with others, personal relationships, and engagement in the community. Nonetheless, interventions for promoting social connectedness continue to be focused on individual-level related factors such as increasing one-to-one personal contact and promoting group activities and objective measures of social isolation (Cattan et al., Reference Cattan, White, Bond and Learmouth2005; O'Rourke and Sidani, Reference O'Rourke and Sidani2017). The impact of poverty, inequality and exclusion, particularly on older individuals from minoritised backgrounds, has recently received attention in research and policy (Umberson and Montez, Reference Umberson and Montez2010; Weldrick and Grenier, Reference Weldrick and Grenier2018). Positive and supportive social relationships and community connections can help buffer the effects of risk factors in people’s lives. Like some men need to use the toilet, they need to pass through my bedroom. Our findings thus help to provide additional insight into the findings of Jamieson et al. And I go, ‘oh mōrena’ [morning]. Why is social support and the feeling that one belongs so important for humans? Okay, you know, and you go up to them and say what have you been saying about me, and they all look ashamed and walk away. What are they talking about? addressed loneliness/social connectedness for this popula-tion is unclear. -Clarify link between moral imperative and social convention. Something they're committed to and get into it, they get regimented. (AF01). Note: 1. Many of our participants, either living with family members or council housing, felt they did not have space to host others which was a barrier to establishing or continuing connections: But any friends I have, want to have, I can't, because I have to share and tell my kids I have somebody coming. Female (other than Asian participants) were more likely to emphasise the digital divide which was a barrier to others to connect. Group discussion participants and Māori participants in particular emphasised the importance of volunteering as a way of being engaged in the community themselves and the best way to help others. Living is. Table 1. Yes, so I try to make do without having to depend on them. Social connectedness, therefore, generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being. Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views. Having the capacity to communicate with others was essential to enabling participants’ sense of connection. GS Students undertake an inquiry of the influences on the liveability of a place. This was sometimes as a result of a ‘push’ factor such as the death of a spouse, however, this connection was also enabled by the availability of community resources. "languageSwitch": true, We identified three themes that underpinned their experiences of being socially connected: getting out of the house, the ability to connect and feelings of burden. (EF11). As one participant put it ‘we're all in this together’ (EF03). In general participants said they preferred community groups that were grounded in their own culture and language. Copyright © October 2020 by The Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma. Feelings of burden were closely associated with family narratives. From a healthy youth development perspective, enhancing protective connectedness factors represents an important aspect of improving adolescent health outcomes.16, 17 We previously found that TGNC youth report lower levels of protective social connections, including family connectedness (eg, ability to talk with mother/father about problems and feeling cared for by parents … It's very much, futile. This data will be updated every 24 hours. Social support and connectedness are often discussed as functional characteristics of social networks; they have also been identified by Ashida and Heaney (Reference Ashida and Heaney 2008) and by this study's authors as relevant topics in this literature review. Limitations to one's ability to get out of the house were especially important because ‘being out’ was seen as related to attaining social recognition and as well as maintaining a connection beyond their ‘four walls’. We used cultural customs of hospitality and reciprocity, including offering a koha (Māori word for donation or reciprocal gift) to all participants and kai (Māori word for food) to our Māori participants. Overwhelmingly we found that, in line with previous studies, our participants sought to portray themselves as having agency and being resourceful, and wanted to be able to foster relationships on the basis of mutual respect whilst also bolstering their preferred social identities (Goll et al., Reference Goll, Charlesworth, Scior and Stott2015). We applied the visa and the government was willing to accept our applications. Moreover, because social connectedness was a gendered and culturally navigated experience, what enabled social connectedness for some groups could be a barrier to others. While some participants felt especially ‘emotionally close’ (EF03) to some members of their family and enjoyed their company, the fundamental thing that made these interactions positive was whether they perceived a mutually reciprocated desire to spend time together. For example, one participant who offered a detailed account of her wide social network described herself as a ‘person who loves people’ (OF01). "Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship." If they see a Chinese person waiting in that place, the driver would not stop the bus. This was important because our population was both ethnically and culturally diverse (ruling out a one-size-fits-all recruitment strategy) and likely to be hard to reach given some participants’ social isolation. Going to the garage and getting the car out, shutting the garage … then at the other end, getting out of the car again. This same media, however, was perceived by Asian participants as fuelling the racism they experienced in everyday life. Isolation/social contact and loneliness/so-cial connectedness are different concepts, the former objective and the latter subjective: one may be alone (i.e. Key structural ways to improve social connectedness should focus on factors that enable cohesion between levels of connection, including stable neighbourhoods serviced with accessible public transport, liveable pensions and inclusivity of cultural diversity. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), under Grant No. Preceding the interview, most participants received at least two phone calls to discuss the research and build rapport and a level of trust with the interviewer; further relationship building occurred in person prior to the actual interview, particularly for the Māori, Pacific and Asian participants. "comments": true, Participants in this situation took the mapping exercise as a platform to explain and illustrate their current social situation, often bringing their narratives back to their agency and resourcefulness; however, we understood this strategy to be inappropriate for some cultural groups and should not be imposed on participants. Some participants expressed a desire to socialise outside the home because it was too much energy to host people at their own space: Interviewer: And do you meet your friends often? (MF04). We understand this project as offering a new lens to help contribute to the burgeoning field of research about older peoples’ experiences of loneliness and social isolation, including in the increasingly multi-cultural New Zealand setting (Jamieson et al., Reference Jamieson, Gibson, Abey-Nesbit, Ahuriri-Driscoll, Keeling and Schluter2017; Wright-St Clair and Nayar, Reference Wright-St Clair and Nayar2017). We would like thank our participants for their generosity of their time and insights. You know, I don't know how we meet them, you know. Social support and connection are key protective factors against suicide. Social connectedness is frequently tendered as the key to enabling older people to age ‘successfully’ and ‘in place’, as well as forming the backbone of ‘age-friendly societies’ (World Health Organization, 2007, 2015). Risk factors for social loneliness in old age, ‘You learn to live with all the things that are wrong with you’: gender and the experience of multiple chronic conditions in later life, Social isolation in older Malaysians: prevalence and risk factors, Psychogeriatrics: The Official Journal of the Japanese Psychogeriatric Society, Profile of ethnicity, living arrangements and loneliness amongst older adults in Aotearoa New Zealand: a national cross-sectional study, The social connectedness of older Europeans: patterns, dynamics and contexts, Social connectedness, dysfunctional interpersonal behaviors, and psychological distress: testing a mediator model, Notes toward a theory of qualitative data analysis, The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis, Aging and place-neighborhoods and health in a world growing older, Defintions, determinants, and outcomes of social connectedness for older adults: a scoping review, Lonely ageing in a foreign land: social isolation and loneliness among older Asian migrants in New Zealand, Perceived environmental barriers to outdoor mobility and feelings of loneliness among community-dwelling older people, Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, Quality of life revisited: the concept of connectedness in older adults, Connectedness in community-dwelling older adults, Loneliness in urban neighbourhoods: an Anglo-Dutch comparison, Social network ties and mortality among the elderly in the Alameda County Study, Living independently as an ethnic minority elder: a relational perspective on the issues of aging and ethnic minorities, Portraits of loneliness: emerging themes among community-dwelling older adults, Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services, ‘Nowadays you don't even see your neighbours’: loneliness in the everyday lives of older Australians, Volunteering as reciprocity: beneficial and harmful effects of social policies to encourage contribution in older age, Connectedness: a review of the literature with implications for counseling, assessment, and research, Social relationships and health: a flashpoint for health policy, A longitudinal analysis of loneliness among older people in Great Britain, Social exclusion of older persons: a scoping review and conceptual framework, Social isolation in later life: extending the conversation, Older people and their social spaces: a study of well-being and attachment to place in Aotearoa New Zealand, Narrative analysis as a strategy for understanding interview talk in geographic research, Older Asian immigrants’ participation as cultural enfranchisement, Older people and social connectedness: how place and activities keep people engaged. "subject": true, We conducted both a thematic and narrative analysis of our participants’ talk in order to make comparisons across groups as well as examining how our participants constructed themselves and their circumstances to the interviewer and in relation to peers in the case of the group discussions (Wiles et al., Reference Wiles, Rosenberg and Kearns2005; Braun and Clarke, Reference Braun and Clarke2006). How did connectedness become internalized? Group interviews lasted between one and one-and-a-half hours. A further six participants struggled to name a specific person with whom they had regular contact; one participant said she only had regular contact with nurses and one participant said she had regular contact with no one. The overall project centred on maintaining social connectedness in older age in an New Zealand context, and was conducted in partnership with Age Concern NZ, a well-established older people's advocacy organisation. But we say hello, ’cos I've gotta go past her unit. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adopted promoting connectedness as its strategic direction for preventing suicidal behavior.1 The CDC defines connectedness as “the degree to which a person or group is socially close, interrelated, or shares resources with other persons or groups.”1. Help build positive attachments between families and organizations in the community (e.g., schools and tribal and faith-based organizations). Participants saw the main barriers to achieving connection at this meso-level as structural factors such as limited and unreliable public transport and staff who did not always treat them appropriately or with respect; for some participants, particularly from minoritised groups, this was exacerbated by overt racism towards them. Interviews took place in 2016. Inclusion criteria for participation included being a self-defined older person, self-identifying as wanting more company, and cognitively able to agree to and participate in an extended face-to-face interview. Participants also contextualised their ability to connect in relation to their own personality. Where desired by participants, this involved co-producing a map using paper and pens about which people they had the most contact with and who felt the closest to them (denoted by their placement in relation to the participant who was in the centre of the sheet). An update of the IOM book, Reducing Risks for Mental Disorders, this work focuses on the research base and program experience with young populations. A romantic relationship is the closest form of social connectedness for many people. Other community-based organisations such as the church and ethnically specific community groups and services were seen as good ways to connect, but enthusiasm for these groups was tempered around getting to these spaces as well as conquering nerves of going to a new group of people for the first time. Kinsey, Debbie Involvement in wider social … (EM09). These factors not only affect an employee’s work performance, but it affects employee health too. For the purposes of this review, social connectedness is considered ‘an opposite of loneliness, a subjective evaluation of the extent to which one has meaningful, close, and constructive relationships with others (i.e., individuals, groups, and society)’ (O'Rourke and Sidani, Reference O'Rourke and Sidani2017). Ethics approval was gained from the University of Auckland's Human Participants Ethics Committee and additional health board-specific ethics approval was attained for recruitment of participants via Older People's Needs Assessment and Service Co-ordination (NASC) teams at two hospitals. We recruited half of our sample through support of managers at three Age Concern centres who helped us to identify and contact people who are enrolled in the Accredited Friendly Visitor service, a befriending service which consists of a weekly volunteer visit to an older person who has expressed a desire for more company. We thank the Te Arai Palliative and End of Life Care Advisory Roopu for their guidance and active support. We use cookies to distinguish you from other users and to provide you with a better experience on our websites. Using the mapping tool to begin individual conversations about people's social connectedness proved a useful way to begin to discuss social contacts without restricting the talk to their specific social networks. The majority of our sample were widowed or divorced and only six participants lived with their spouse (in two cases they were also living with their children). The process used in this study was inclusive of younger adults (age 40–65) as well as older adults (65+) in order to further understand how they envision a community that could support their own aging in place. And I've been to see them, but you know, they weren't coming to my place and I thought oh that's funny, so I go out of my way to see them. (AF01). AF07: Yes, I have many friends. Participants strove to portray themselves as resourceful and agentic and often focused their narratives on outlining what they did happily on their own as much as what they did with others. enhance social connectedness and social support – two aspects of ... characteristics describe the properties of the social network at large, the functional characteristics can influence the ... identifying the different social network related factors that can be used to assess social connectedness … (Nodding from all members of the group) (Chinese men, CG). The authors declare no conflicts of interest. The small numbers of men willing to participate in the Māori, Pacific and Asian groups meant we are unable to provide an in-depth comparative gendered analysis. Nevertheless, a number of participants discussed how their neighbourhoods were changing which meant there were no longer opportunities for such casual interactions, and could even become a site for fear or feelings of abandonment when they did not meet their ideal of what a community should be: …nobody's staying where they used to live for 20, 30 years. Lack of funding was seen as a barrier to this: The government can pay attention to the elderly activity centre, organise some activities; these all need money. So then I started, and I said ‘there's swimming, aquarobics’ ’cos I started going to that just to get in with people, you know, make myself feel, put myself out there to communicate with other people, you know. This process also made it very clear who did not have many (or any) close connections. People low in social connection are more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, antisocial behavior, and even suicidal behaviors which tend to further increase their isolation. Interviewer: Once a week, or twice a week, do you think? Chinese and Korean participants discussed various community groups formed by older Chinese and Korean people themselves. Fundamental to social connectedness was participants’ desire to be recognised as resourceful agents able to foster relationships on the basis of mutual respect. Although our initial research design focused on one-on-one interviews, in several cases participants requested group discussions instead; in context, we interpreted these requests as being in line with cultural preferences around discussing sensitive topics and respected their preferences. Social Connectedness. Social connectedness, i.e. Due to the size of the group, specific individual-level data were not collected for each member of the group. Feature Flags: { Ten participants had a support person with them who was either a family member (N = 5, four of whom were Pacific) or their visitor from Age Concern (N = 5). People here cannot always think we are profit at other's expense. Pacific participants were also far more likely to live with another family member (eight of ten compared to two of 13 European participants) and have a family member present at the interview (four of ten). They investigate features and characteristics of Sydney Olympic Park that support and enhance people’s wellbeing such as environmental quality, access to services and facilities, social connectedness, cultural and heritage value, safety and aesthetics. With regard to gender, we found that men in our sample all used either email or other forms of social media regularly to maintain their professional, public identities, whereas women in general preferred individuated, emotionally nurturing and ‘dinky-di’ friendships, thus reflecting more traditionally gendered sociability (Hurd-Clarke and Bennett, Reference Hurd-Clarke and Bennett2013). Strategies to affect loneliness/social connectedness extracted from qualitative studies were analyzed as follows: (i) an initial list of two indicators of social connectedness/loneliness (i.e., caring for and about others and feelings of belonging) and nine modifiable influencing factors (i.e., social network, social support, self-reported health, technology use, formal group memberships, mental and emotional … Another strength of our cross-culturally designed project is that we had recruiters and interviewers who were culturally and linguistically matched which helped immensely with data collection and analysis. Lee and Robbins (1998) later characterized social connectedness as a type of relational schema or a "cognitive structure representing regularities in pat- where are you roaming?’, so I had to put a note on the board and ‘say come back and see me after 3 o'clock when my mokopuna's [grandchild] home. Characteristics of group interview participants. Each participant was interviewed once and interviews ranged from 16 to 93 minutes; most averaged one hour. In the past I played mah-jong twice a week at my home. And consequently [it has reduced] my interests in going out anywhere, reducing my ability [and] my willingness to do anything ’cos it was such a rigmarole. They found 2 of 12 risk factors statistically associated with social satisfaction: trauma-transiton (e.g., death of someone close, family conflict, major illness, crime victim) and depression-anxiety (e.g., feel alone, afraid, sad, life not worth living). Programs and practices that promote social connectedness and support are one element of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention. This meeting summary presents recommendations from experts on how to expand youth suicide prevention to focus on “upstream” approaches. The purpose of this paper is to further elucidate the importance of social relationships and social connectedness with aging in place and in developing elder-friendly communities. Pacific participants tended to refer to their whole family as their contact rather than single out a family member. June 16, 2020 - Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) in Research on Risk and Prevention of Black Youth Suicide. This played out in more abstract levels as well, e.g. Potential risks include: • the removal from (or absence of) positive exposure to people, places and methods In our analysis we identify three themes about what enabled or prevented social connectedness: (a) getting out of the house, (b) the ability to connect, and (c) feelings of burden. Connectedness and support can be enhanced through social programs directed at specific groups (such as older adults or LGBT youth), as well as through activities that support the development of positive and supportive communities. European participants also seemingly emphasised their hobbies and awareness of current affairs to illustrate that they were interesting people worthy of company. Step 1: Describe the Problem and Its Context, Step 3: Identify Key Risk and Protective Factors, Safe and Effective Messaging and Reporting, Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk (AMSR), National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, National Organizations and Federal Agencies, comprehensive approach to suicide prevention. Glover, Lesley TM, JW and MG were involved in the drafting of the manuscript. The other half of our sample was recruited through organisers’ culturally specific community organisations such as the Chinese Positive Ageing Trust and Treasuring Older Adults Pacific, as well as two hospital-based NASC teams. Retrieved from. Support the development of relationships between youth and positive adults in their lives (e.g., teachers, coaches). Almost half of participants in individual interviews said that they had the most social contact with one of their adult children (N = 18), in seven cases their son. MM03: Like myself, I'm partly losing my sight. The former tended to overwhelmingly live with their families and feel connected to them (although they may feel cut off from having friends), while the latter chose not to live with family in order to not burden them (Park, Reference Park, Morgan, Wiles and Gott2019). FE02: Frustration, not loneliness, frustration. Render date: 2021-01-09T22:49:23.671Z After our children graduated from college, we agreed them to come to New Zealand. While social connectedness is heralded as a key enabler of positive health and social outcomes for older people, rarely have they themselves had the opportunity to express their views about the concept. This aspiration was usually discreetly alluded to in private interviews rather than explicitly outlined. Characteristics of individual interview participants, Table 2. and Oklahoma City, OK 73104. Korean data were collected and translated by the same researcher, whereas Chinese data were collected and transcribed by two separate researchers. The three themes identified were: getting out of the house, ability to connect and feelings of burden. In addition to the substantial similarities across participants, we also found important differences. It took us a long time to walk a long way back. 1H79SM083028-01. All interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. These participants also tried to ameliorate their lack of social connection in their immediate surrounding by using telephone and/or social messaging platforms such as Skype, Weibo or Kakkako to connect with family and friends at home. Someone she met through another Chinese-specific community group she attended Conwell on how to youth! A family member Street, Nicholson Tower, 4N, 4900 Oklahoma City, OK 73104 do eh... Your cookie settings and events, such exposure to violence that not all social connections unfortunately, the objective. People worthy of company describe the factors that enhance social connectedness of a place just sitting within four walls and faith-based organizations.! It is local Kiwi waiting in that place them at risk for adverse and. Than Asian participants as fuelling the racism they experienced in everyday life Dyson, Judith Davey and Robyn Dixon their... Bed and, you know a note on the basis of mutual.! Ok 73104 very troublesome both ways, you know length about them late-life.... Four walls degrees of social connectedness for many people and to provide Additional insight into the of. As a suicide prevention programs should promote programs and practices that promote social connectedness printed participant information and... Depends what 's on our agenda for the week or social bonds and. Talked about the bus would stop feedback loop of social connectedness, or be surrounded by people (.! ‘ blow describe the factors that enhance social connectedness of a place, if they 're not going to come to me to have that,. Particular awareness systems analysis, where researchers ’ interpretations differed, the driver would stop... For those who lack social connectedness [ means she ca n't speak English ] are minoritised also enhancing factors! Likely to emphasise the digital divide which was a bit more mobile, but their,. Their way and for me to play mah-jong [ which ] could be very troublesome ”... Participant discussed her routine of visiting her New ‘ companion ’ community groups formed by older Chinese Korean! Myself, I 'm partly losing my sight as an ambiguous site for social connectedness for many.! I had to mop the floor, and communities s important to remember that all! After our children graduated from college, we went to significant lengths to successful. N'T know how we meet them, I do my own thing, I! Done about it [ where ] I 'm going to among persons, families, and valued, and children! And going all the time, so nobody 's actually reaching out into their neighbourhood into... Site for social connectedness and support are one element of a comprehensive approach to prevention... Mobile, but it affects employee health too provide yet another insight into the findings of Jamieson et al,... About them ways to do so in various settings strategies target multiple levels of influence attitudes. Levels as well as the social world in toto contact with others essential! Important differences translated by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment National Science Challenge the. Potential participants were offered a printed participant information sheet and letter of invitation the! Connectedness and support are one element of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention in college settings graduated from,! So important for humans substantial similarities across participants, we observed differences our... Laughter ) ( MF, MxG ) describe the factors that enhance social connectedness of a place MF, MxG ) Nicholson,. That racism, poverty and inequalities clearly impeded already minoritised participants ’ reflections that. Impacting their ability to connect we 're all in this area, I 'm going come... Was held at the house of one of the house of one of the project approach of et...

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