Community service use by older adults: The roles of sociocultural factors in rural-urban differences

Fei Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study examined the influence of sociocultural factors in explaining the rural-urban differences in home and community-based service (HCBS) use among older adults. Survey data of 228 older adults living in Alabama were analyzed. Sociocultural factors included participants' perceptions of service availability, attitudes toward seeking formal help, informal support, and religious behaviors. Rural older adults were less likely to use HCBS than their urban counterparts (p <.05). An interaction effect between perceived service availability and church attendance was found. These findings suggest a need for collaborations between community aging services with religious organizations to ensure existing programs are accessible to older adults living in rural areas. Future research based upon large probability samples is needed to shed more light on the relation between church attendance and service use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-135
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Social Service Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011


  • Home and community-based service use
  • Rural
  • Sociocultural factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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