- Vulnerability and environmental stress of older adults in deprived neighbourhoods in the Netherlands
- Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie
- Volume | Issue number
- 99 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Recent policy rests on the assumption that it is better for older people to live independently within the community for as long as possible. A related assumption is that the local community forms a supportive context for vulnerable older people; the environment can compensate the limitations resulting from growing old. However, Lawton's 'environmental docility hypothesis', in which the interaction between characteristics of the environment and a person's competence is described, forms a reason to be more careful with this assumption. In a survey of 1,939 Dutch older adults carried out in 2002-2003 this hypothesis is explored for older people living in deprived and nondeprived neighbourhoods. The results of the analysis seem to be in line with Lawton's hypothesis. In non-deprived neighbourhoods, no differences in environmental stress are found between vulnerable and non-vulnerable older adults, while in deprived neighbourhoods vulnerable older adults experience significantly higher levels of environmental stress than non-vulnerable older adults.
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