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Fifty-five years of research into older people’s civic participation: recent trends, future directions

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rodrigo Serrat Fernandez, Professor Thomas Scharf



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Oxford University Press, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Background and objectives: This study analyzes critically existing knowledge concerning older people’s civic participation, pinpoints gaps in the literature, and proposes new directions for research. Research design and methods: We conducted a scoping review of literature on older people’s civic participation. To conduct this review, we followed the five-step framework developed by Arksey and O’Malley (2005), and expanded by Levac, Colquhoun, and O’Brien (2010).Results: Research into older people’s civic participation has grown steadily over the past 55 years. However, the increasing number of publications mainly concerns collective forms of social participation, particularly volunteering, with other types of participation being more stable over time. Contextual as well as dynamic aspects of civic participation remain underdeveloped. Diversity of older people is scarcely represented in current research. Discussion and implications: This scoping review identifies four critical gaps in the literature that should be at the forefront of future research. These are classified as conceptual, contextual, processual, and diverse aspects of research into older people’s civic participation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Serrat R, Scharf T, Villar F, Gómez Ulloa C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: The Gerontologist

Year: 2019

Pages: Epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 19/03/2019

Acceptance date: 16/01/2019

Date deposited: 16/01/2019

ISSN (print): 0016-9013

ISSN (electronic): 1758-5341

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnz021


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