Participation in formal learning activities of older Europeans in poor and good health

Stanisława Golinowska, Agnieszka Sowa, Dorly Deeg, Marco Socci, Andrea Principi, Ricardo Rodrigues, Stefania Ilinca, Henrike Galenkamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little attention has been given to the involvement in formal learning activities (FLA) in the older population when considering different health statuses. The aim of this study is to explore the extent to which possible predictors (derived from previous research as well as a conceptual model) of FLA differ for older people in poor and good health. Data are used from SHARE 2010/2011 for the 50+ populations in 16 European countries. Poor health is defined as self-report of having two or more chronic diseases assessed by a medical doctor, i.e. multimorbidity. Possible predictors of learning activities represent individual characteristics: functional limitations, demography (age, gender, marital status and household size), human capital (achieved level of education), employment, income and participation in other social activities. To assess the predictors of FLA, logistic regression models are used and average marginal estimates are compared across groups. In addition to multimorbidity, labour market activity is used as a grouping variable. The average participation of individuals in the group with multimorbidity was nearly 50 % lower than that in the group in good health (6.5 vs. 13.3 %). Regardless of multimorbidity, human capital proved to be significant predictors of FLA, especially in those active on the labour market. However, the associations were weaker in the multimorbidity group. Also, significant associations were observed of other types of social activities, in particular cultural and leisure activity and volunteering, with FLA. This study suggests that similar factors are predictors of FLA in older people with and without multimorbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Ageing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Apr 18 2016


  • Active ageing
  • Human capital
  • Labour market activity
  • Learning activities
  • Morbidity
  • Older people
  • Successful ageing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Health(social science)


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