Group von Bonsdorff

Social gerontology

Social gerontology aims to strengthen research in the area of active and healthy ageing. The main themes of the programme are to study social determinants of active and healthy ageing in different living environments including senior housing. Agency, participation and sense of community in the ageing population are also at the core of the programme.

The Social gerontology research programme was launched in 2017 with the aim to strengthen research on promoting active and healthy ageing. A central part of the programme includes the BoAktiv Study, a project on senior housing as a determinant of healthy and active ageing.

The quantitative part includes a survey study that has been carried out in 2018 and in 2020. Around 250 persons living in Folkhälsan senior housing apartments participated in the survey on health, functioning, social participation and sense of community. The qualitative part of the BoAktiv Study include in-depth interviews on quality of life in the senior house context and on what healthy ageing comprise. 

Furthermore, the social gerontology group focuses focuses on research on physical and mental functioning, ageing in working life, retirement and work career as determinants and health and functioning among seniors as well as agency and participation in older age.

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Mikaela von Bonsdorff, Associate Professor in Gerontology and Public Health

Matti Munukka, Phd, postdoctoral researcher

Markus Haapanen, MD, postdoctoral resercher

Anna Lahti, MSc, doctoral student

Ann-Louise Siren, MSc, doctoral student

Emilia Keijonen, MSc, research coordinator

Professor Timo Strandberg, University of Helsinki

Professor Marjaana Seppänen, University of Helsinki

Professor (emerita) Anneli Sarvimäki, Ikäinstituutti, Helsinki

Professor Monika von Bonsdorff, University of Vaasa

Professor Sari Stenholm, Uuniversity of Turku

Professor Rachel Cooper, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Professor Miriam Morey, Duke University, North Carolina, US

Samfundet Folkhälsan

University of Jyväskylä

Jan Magnus Janssons fond

Lahti AM, Simonsen N, Seppänen M, Finne M, Sarvimäki A, von Bonsdorff MB. Folkhälsans seniorboende och aktivt åldrande – BoAktiv-studien. Gerontologia 2019;33:74-85. 

von Bonsdorff MB, Haapanen M, Törmäkangas T, Pitkälä K, Stenholm S, Strandberg TE. Midlife cardiovascular status and old age physical functioning trajectories in older business men. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2019 doi: 10.1111/jgs.16150

Perälä MM, von Bonsdorff MB, Pohjolainen P, Simonen M, Rantanen T, Kajantie E, Eriksson JG. Nordic diet and frailty. J Am Med Dir Assoc 2019;20:511-6.

von Bonsdorff MB, Kokko K, Salonen M, von Bonsdorff ME, Poranen-Clark T, Alastalo H, Kajantie E, Osmond C, Eriksson JG. Childhood adversities and home atmosphere as determinants of physical and mental functioning. Age and Ageing 2019;48:80-6.

Haapanen MJ, Perälä MM, Salonen MK, Guzzardi MA, Iozzo P, Kajantie E, Rantanen T, Simonen M, Pohjolainen P, Eriksson JG, von Bonsdorff MB. Telomere length and frailty: the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study. J Am Med Dir Assoc 2018;19:658-62.

von Bonsdorff MB, von Bonsdorff ME, Haanpää M, Salonen M, Mikkola TM, Kautiainen H, Eriksson JG. Work-loss years among people diagnosed with diabetes - a reappraisal from a life course perspective. Acta Diabetol 2018;55:485-491.

von Bonsdorff MB, Cooper R, Kuh D. Job demand and control in midlife and physical and mental functioning in early old age –  do childhood factors explain these associations in a British birth cohort? BMJ Open 2014;4:e005578.

von Bonsdorff MB, Rantanen T, Sipilä S, Salonen MK, Kajantie E, Osmond C, Barker DJP, Eriksson JG. Birth Size and Childhood Growth as Determinants of Physical Functioning in Older Age: the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study. American Journal of Epidemiology 2011;174:1336-44.

von Bonsdorff MB, Seitsamo J, Ilmarinen J, Nygård CH, von Bonsdorff ME, Rantanen T. Work ability in midlife as a predictor of mortality and disability in later life: a 28-year prospective follow-up study. Canadian Medical Association Journal 2011;183:E235-42.

von Bonsdorff MB, Rantanen T, Leinonen R, Kujala UM, Törmäkangas T, Mänty M, Heikkinen E. Physical activity history and end-of-life hospital and long-term care. Journal of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 2009;64:778-784.


    • Mikaela von Bonsdorff

      Associate professor in gerontology and public health

    • Tel:
      +358 40 034 2692

    • Contact
    • Anna Lahti

      MSc, doctoral student

    • Tel:
      +358 44 788 5999

    • Contact