Close

Multidimensional Social Network Types and Their Correlates in Older Americans.

Abstract

Social support networks of older adults have been linked to their health and well-being; however, findings regarding the effects of specific network characteristics have been mixed. Additionally, due to demographic shifts increasing numbers of older adults live outside of traditional family structures. Previous studies have not systematically examined the resulting complexity and heterogeneity of older adults' social networks. Our objectives were to examine this complexity and heterogeneity by developing a multidimensional typology of social networks that simultaneously considers multiple structural and functional network characteristics, and to examine differences in network type membership by sociodemographic characteristics, health characteristics, and birth cohort.

Network typologies can elucidate the varied interpersonal environments of older adults and identify individuals who lack social connectedness on multiple network dimensions and are therefore at a higher risk of social isolation.

Participants included 5,192 adults aged 57-85 years in the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project at rounds 1 (2005-2006) and 3 (2015-2016). Data were collected on social relationships including network size, diversity, frequency of contact, and perceived support and strain in relationships. We used latent class analysis to derive the network typology and multinomial logistic regression to examine differences in network type membership by sociodemographic characteristics, health characteristics, and birth cohort.

. Membership in these network types varied by age, gender, marital status, race/ethnicity, education, mental health, and birth cohort.

MIDAS Network Members

Citation:
This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site.