Do the sources of the urban elderly's social support determine its psychological consequences?

B. J. Felton, C. A. Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article examines whether the psychological impact of different kinds of social supports varies according to who provides them. Data on 82 older adults' social relationships, measured as social provisions (Weiss, 1974), were used to evaluate whether the relationship between social provisions and emotional well-being varied when kin and, alternatively, nonkin, made the provisions. Findings showed that, although most social provisions were valuable regardless of their source, reassurance of worth was distinctly more beneficial when provided by nonkin than by kin, and reliable alliance, or instrumental assistance, was more strongly related to well-being when provided by kin than by nonkin. Analysis of social network structure showed that "multiplexity" was negatively related to well-being, and having duplicate providers for a given social provision was uniquely important in offsetting negative affect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology and aging
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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