Group von Bonsdorff

Social gerontology

The social gerontology group investigates current topics in older populations and aims to strengthen research particularly in the field of active and healthy ageing. The program incorporates both quantitative and qualitative data and considers various living environments, giving special emphasis on senior housing.

The social gerontology group focuses on interdisciplinary research on active and healthy aging and conducts both qualitative and quantitative studies. The research topics include, for example, social participation and agency, physical and mental functioning, resilience, frailty, and ageing in working life.

Mikaela von Bonsdorff, Anna Lahti, Sini Siltanen, Sini Stenroth, Helena Levonmaa and Ann-Louise Sirén

A central part of the program is the BoAktiv Study, a project on senior housing as a determinant of healthy and active ageing. The quantitative part of BoAktiv includes a survey that has been carried out in 2018 and 2020. Over 330 persons living in Folkhälsan senior housing apartments participated in the survey on health, functioning, social participation, active aging, and sense of community. The qualitative part of the BoAktiv Study includes in-depth interviews on quality of life in the senior housing context and on what healthy ageing comprise. Results of the study are currently being reported.

In addition to conducting the BoAktiv study, the group collaborates closely within Folkhälsan and with national and foreign universities.

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Mikaela von Bonsdorff, Associate Professor in Gerontology and Public Health

Sini Siltanen, PhD, postdoctoral researcher

Markus Haapanen, MD, researcher

Anna Lahti, MSc, doctoral student

Ann-Louise Siren, MSc, doctoral student

Sini Stenroth, MSc, doctoral student

Helena Levonmaa, MSc, doctoral student

Jenny Ray, research assistant

Early growth, stress, and socioeconomic factors as predictors of the rate of multimorbidity accumulation across the life course: a longitudinal birth cohort study.
Haapanen MJ, Vetrano DL, Mikkola TM, Calderon-Larranaga A, Dekhtyar S, Kajantie E, Eriksson JG, von Bonsdorff MB. Lancet Healthy Longevity. 2023.

Association between resilience and frailty in older age: Findings from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study.
Stenroth SM, Pynnönen K, Haapanen MJ, Vuoskoski P, Mikkola TM, Eriksson JG, von Bonsdorff MB. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics. 2023. 

Active aging in senior housing residents and community-dwelling older adults: a comparative study in Finland.
Siltanen S, Keskinen K, Lahti AM, Rantanen T, von Bonsdorff MB. Journal of Aging and Health, in press. 2023.

Social Participation Considered as Meaningful in old age− the Perceptions of Senior Housing Residents in Finland.
Sirén AL, Seppänen M, & von Bonsdorff MB. Ageing International. 2023.

Mental, physical and social functioning in independently living senior house residents and community-dwelling older adults.
Lahti AM, Mikkola TM, Salonen M, Wasenius N, Sarvimäki A, Eriksson JG, von Bonsdorff MB. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021. 

Body composition in late midlife as a predictor of accelerated age-associated deficit accumulation from late midlife into old age: a longitudinal birth cohort study.
Haapanen MJ, Mikkola TM, Kortelainen L, Jylhävä J, Wasenius NS, Kajantie E, Eriksson JG, von Bonsdorff MB. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. 2022.

Early life factors as predictors of age-associated deficit accumulation across 17 years from midlife to old age.
Haapanen MJ, Jylhävä J, Kortelainen L, Mikkola TM, Salonen M, Wasenius N, Kajantie E, Eriksson JG, von Bonsdorff MB. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. 2022.

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

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

Professor Timo Strandberg, University of Helsinki

Professor Marjaana Seppänen, University of Helsinki

Professor (emerita) Anneli Sarvimäki, Age Institute, Helsinki

Professor Taina Rantanen, University of Jyväskylä

Associate Professor Juulia Jylhävä, Karolinska Institutet

Professor Dorly Deeg, Amsterdam UMC

Associate professor Merja Rantakokko, University of Jyväskylä

Professor Anu Sirén, Tampere University

Samfundet Folkhälsan

University of Jyväskylä

Jan Magnus Janssons fond

Medicinska Understödsföreningen Liv & Hälsa

Juho Vainio Foundation


    • Mikaela von Bonsdorff

      Associate professor in gerontology and public health

    • Tel:
      +358 40 034 2692

    • Contact
    • Sini Siltanen

      PhD, postdoctoral researcher

    • Tel:
      +358 44 788 3762

    • Contact