Changes in contact and support exchange in personal networks after widowhood

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    Abstract

    The convoy model conceptualizes older adults' networks of personal relationships as convoys of social support. This prospective study examined how contact and support in several relationships changed due to widowhood. Using observations between 1992 and 2002 from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam, multilevel models describe change in contact and support of 227 widowed and 408 married older adults. Contact and support were low before widowhood and increased in all relationships after widowhood, and more so in child and sibling relationships. Around 2.5 years after widowhood, contact and support started to decrease. Our findings increase our understanding of the heterogeneity of network changes in old age and of the instability of the network as a social convoy in late life. © 2007 IARR.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)457-473
    Number of pages17
    JournalPersonal Relationships
    Volume14
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

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