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Relationships between health and life satisfaction, health and community participation, and community participation and life satisfaction are well documented in the literature. The current project investigates the confluence of these three variables, specifically whether community participation arbitrates the relationship between physical health challenges and life satisfaction. Using a sample of community dwelling elders from five counties in central Illinois, a mediation analysis assessed the interrelationships between each of the three variables; of particular interest was whether community participation arbitrated the relationship between physical health challenges and life satisfaction. A mediational model could not be tested because there is no statistical relationship between physical health challenges and community participation in these data. Instead, there were significant direct effects between each variable and life satisfaction. Post-hoc tests investigated whether community participation differentially affects life satisfaction in the participants who reported greater-than-median number of physical health challenges. Results indicated significant differences in means between worse health groups who have not participated in the community and groups that have, which suggests that community participation plays some role in positively affecting life satisfaction levels in people with physical health challenges.



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