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.

Sini Stenroth, Anna Lahti, Sini Siltanen 

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, postdoctoral researcher

Anna Lahti, MSc, doctoral student

Ann-Louise Siren, MSc, doctoral student

Sini Stenroth, MSc, doctoral student

Helena Levonmaa, MSc, doctoral student (starting from 2024)

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

Samfundet Folkhälsan

University of Jyväskylä

Jan Magnus Janssons fond

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

Sirén, A. L., Seppänen, M., & von Bonsdorff, M. B. (2023). Social Participation Considered as Meaningful in old age− the Perceptions of Senior Housing Residents in Finland. Ageing International, 1-21.

Lahti, A. M., Mikkola, T. M., Salonen, M., Wasenius, N., Sarvimäki, A., Eriksson, J. G., & Von Bonsdorff, M. B. (2021). Mental, physical and social functioning in independently living senior house residents and community-dwelling older adults. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(23), 12299.

Haapanen MJ, Mikkola TM, Kortelainen L, Jylhävä J, Wasenius NS, Kajantie E, Eriksson JG, von Bonsdorff MB. 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. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2022:78;980-7.

Haapanen MJ, Jylhävä J, Kortelainen L, Mikkola TM, Salonen M, Wasenius N, Kajantie E, Eriksson JG, von Bonsdorff MB. Early life factors as predictors of age-associated deficit accumulation across 17 years from midlife to old age. J Gerontol Med Sci 2022:77;2281-7.

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, 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.


    • 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