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Mixed methods evaluation on village neighborhood social cohesiveness and quality of life

Su-I Hou (School of Global Health Management and Informatics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Esteban Santis (Doctoral Program in Public Affairs, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Anna V. Eskamani (Doctoral Program in Public Affairs, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Khristen Holmes ( cSchool of Global Health Management and Informatics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA)
cSchool of Global Health Management and Informatics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

ISSN: 1471-7794

Article publication date: 9 June 2022

Issue publication date: 17 October 2022

49

Abstract

Purpose

The “Village” model has become an emerging, community-based, social initiative to help older adults age in place. This study aims to examine neighborhood social cohesion (NSC), or social connectedness and quality of life, from the perspective of village members.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed-method evaluation was used to examine two Florida villages, a master-planned village (FV1) and a diverse neighborhood village (FV2). Both are full members of the National Village to Village Network.

Findings

The quantitative and qualitative data provided complementary and deeper understanding. Quantitative findings showed that FV1 members scored higher at NSC, and qualitative findings further confirmed that village program social activities were critical to building connections, especially for those who have lost loved ones and were single.

Research limitations/implications

Findings should be interpreted considering the predominantly white racial makeup and affluence of village participants.

Practical implications

Findings point to the importance of NSC as older adults age and suggest that programs should prioritize activities that strengthen social connectiveness.

Originality/value

This is one of the first mixed-methods evaluations examining NSC and quality of life among village participants.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study is funded by the faculty PI’s research grant from the University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL. The author appreciates the strong support from the executive director Gloria Niec from the Celebration Foundation, Thriving-in-Place program manager May Pat Rosenthal and Annette Kelly, Chairperson, Board of Directors from the Neighbors Network for their help with data collection coordination. Special thanks to the PI’s student research team for assisting with the interviews and transcriptions. The author is in debt to all the study participants for their time and input on this study.

Citation

Hou, S.-I., Santis, E., Eskamani, A.V. and Holmes, K. (2022), "Mixed methods evaluation on village neighborhood social cohesiveness and quality of life", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 71-84. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAOA-05-2021-0044

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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