Determinants of quality of life amongst older people in deprived neighbourhoods

Allison E. Smith, Julius Sim, Thomas Scharf, Chris Phillipson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article analyses the determinants of the quality of life in a sample of 600 people aged 60 or more years living in deprived areas of three English cities. Data were collected by means of a face-to-face administered questionnaire. Two standardised measures, the 'Satisfaction With Life, Scale' (SWLS) and the 'Philadelphia Geriatric Center Morale Scale' (PGCMS), and a single-item question were used to produce outcome measures of the quality of life. Using a conceptual model of quality of life factors, 21 socio-demographic, objective and subjective variables were correlated with each of the measures. Thirteen of these variables were subsequently entered in three multiple regression models. Subjective variables correlated significantly with all three quality of life, measures, but socio-demographic and objective life condition variables correlated less strongly. Regression analysis revealed perception of own health, perceived ability to cope financially, perception of poverty over time and loneliness to be important determinants of the quality of life across all three quality of life measures. Variables that described characteristics of the urban environment had limited direct influence on the quality of life. The findings support the conceptual framework and highlight the key role played by subjective variables in determining the quality of life of older people in deprived urban areas. © 2004 Cambridge University Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-814
Number of pages21
JournalAgeing and Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004


  • Deprived areas
  • Older people
  • Philadelphia Geriatric Center Morale Scale
  • Quality of life
  • Satisfaction with life scale


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