Some theories are:
- Boomers, especially women, are working more or devoting themselves to caring for parents.
- Engagement is often digital and less personal.
Researchers are examining why today’s baby boomers seem less socially inclined than people their age were almost 20 years ago.
It’s also possible that boomers are remaining independent and self-sufficient—just as they have always been. They questioned social norms and felt less obligated to attend church or join the Junior League and Chamber of Commerce. “Baby boomers do whatever they want,” Dr. Adams says.
Dr. Sims is directing the research as part of the Sightlines Project for the Stanford Center on Longevity. Researchers used nine measures of social engagement, including interaction with friends and family, contact with neighbors, and community and church involvement. Among five age groups, the biggest drop in social engagement—and the only statistically significant decline—was among people 55 to 64, who were 5.11% less socially engaged than their same-age predecessors.