This study explores dynamic changes in network size and composition by examining patterns of older adults' social network change over time, that is: types of movements; the reason for the loss of network members; and the relation of movement and composition in concert. This study is a 6-year follow up of changes in the social networks of U.S.-Born Caucasian, African-American, and Caribbean older adults. One hundred and twenty-four community-dwelling older adults were interviewed during 2 data collection points over a 6-year period. Differences between Wave 1 and Wave 2 data were examined using paired sample t-tests confirmed with post-hoc tests and multivariate analyses. Results regarding types of movement showed that network changes were attributed to attrition - the "loss" of network members and a novel movement - the "addition" of network members not heretofore discussed. The results show an interaction between kinship status, ethnicity, and time - the attrition of non-kin members was underscored by ethnic differences. The type of network change was specific for type of network affiliation, such that children were more likely to be added to the networks of the young-old and kin were more likely to be lost in networks of the old-old. Older adults engage in social network interactions marked by compensatory processes beyond loss of network members such as social promotion and demotion. These social network processes are of emotional and functional significance for the older adult.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||27|
|Journal||International Journal of Aging and Human Development|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2013|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology