Who can you trust? Changes in political, institutional, and social trust among older adults in Ostrobothnia

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Abstract

Trusting other people and societal institutions is crucial for social cohesion. Previous research indicate that there has been a decrease in the level of trust during the last decades in Finland. However, this has not been investigated among older adults specifically. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in political, institutional, and social trust from 2005 to 2016 among older Swedish-speaking and Finnish-speaking adults.
The data were derived from the Gerontological Regional Database (GERDA) survey conducted in the region of Ostrobothnia, Finland. The sample included 65- and 75-year-olds and consisted of 1545 individuals in 2005 and 1742 individuals in 2016. Logistic regression was used to estimate the probability of having high trust according to year and language group in each trust measure while adjusting for various sociodemographic factors.
The level of political and institutional trust was significantly lower in 2016 compared to 2005, while there was no statistically significant change in the level of social trust. Further, the changes in the trust measures varied between the language groups. The decrease in trust found in this study is a potential threat to social capital, which is an important facilitator for active aging, and should therefore be acknowledged and investigated further.
Translated title of the contributionWho can you trust? Changes in political, institutional, and social trust among older adults in Ostrobothnia
Original languageSwedish
Pages (from-to)354-378
Number of pages25
JournalPolitiikka
Volume62
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Trust
  • Social capital
  • Older adults
  • Language
  • Linguistic minorities

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