Social role identities among older adults in a continuing care retirement community

Phyllis Moen, Mary Ann Erickson, Donna Dempster-McClain

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Basing their hypotheses on identity and life-course theories, the authors examine the social role identities of a group of older adults (N = 92) both before and after their move into a new continuing care retirement community (CCRC) to investigate whether this transition is linked to changes in social role identities. The congruence between actually enacting a role and choosing it as a role identity varies with the role. Current role behaviors and satisfaction predict role identity for two institutionalized, public roles (volunteer and church/synagogue member) but are less related to two more private roles (parent and friend). Cluster analysis reveals a typology of three discrete groups, based on social role identities: an involved group with a high number of role identities, a group focused on family roles identities, and a group focused on the friend role identity. The social role identities of the three groups changed in different ways after moving to the CCRC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-579
Number of pages21
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


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