Cohort differences in received social support in later life: The role of network type

B. Suanet, T.C. Antonucci

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: The objective is to assess cohort differences in received emotional and instrumental support in relation to network types. The main guiding hypothesis is that due to increased salience of non-kin with recent social change, those in friend-focused and diverse network types receive more support in later birth cohorts than earlier birth cohorts. Method: Data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam are employed. We investigate cohort differences in total received emotional and instrumental support in a series of linear regression models comparing birth cohorts aged 55-64, 65-74, 75-84, and 85-94 across three time periods (1992, 2002, and 2012). Results: Four network types (friend, family, restricted, and diverse) are identified. Friend-focused networks are more common in later birth cohorts, restrictive networks less common. Those in friend-focused networks in later cohorts report receiving more emotional and instrumental support. No differences in received support are evident upon diverse networks. Discussion: The increased salience of non-kin is reflected in an increase in received emotional and instrumental support in friend-focused networks in later birth cohorts. The preponderance of non-kin in networks should not be perceived as a deficit model for social relationships as restrictive networks are declining across birth cohorts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)706-715
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology. Series B : Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume72
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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