UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Age and Gender Differences in Social Network Composition and Social Support Among Older Rural South Africans: Findings From the HAALSI Study

Harling, G; Morris, KA; Manderson, L; Perkins, JM; Berkman, LF; (2018) Age and Gender Differences in Social Network Composition and Social Support Among Older Rural South Africans: Findings From the HAALSI Study. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B 10.1093/geronb/gby013. (In press). Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text (Published article)
Harling_Age_Gender_Differences.pdf - Published version

Download (380kB) | Preview
[img]
Preview
Text (Supplementary information)
Harling_Age_Gender_Differences_Suppl.pdf

Download (741kB) | Preview

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Drawing on the “Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH community in South Africa” (HAALSI) baseline survey, we present data on older adults’ social networks and receipt of social support in rural South Africa. We examine how age and gender differences in social network characteristics matched with patterns predicted by theories of choice- and constraint-based network contraction in older adults. METHOD: We used regression analysis on data for 5,059 South African adults aged 40 and older. RESULTS: Older respondents reported fewer important social contacts and less frequent communication than their middle-aged peers, largely due to fewer nonkin connections. Network size difference between older and younger respondents was greater for women than for men. These gender and age differences were explicable by much higher levels of widowhood among older women compared to younger women and older men. There was no evidence for employment-related network contraction or selective retention of emotionally supportive ties. DISCUSSION: Marriage-related structural constraints impacted on older women’s social networks in rural South Africa, but did not explain choice-based network contraction. These findings suggest that many older women in rural Africa, a growing population, may have an unmet need for social support.

Type: Article
Title: Age and Gender Differences in Social Network Composition and Social Support Among Older Rural South Africans: Findings From the HAALSI Study
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/geronb/gby013
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gby013
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com
Keywords: Constraint theory, Functional selectivity theory, Kin, Marital status, Socioemotional selectivity theory
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10046038
Downloads since deposit
74Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item