ERIC Number: ED244194
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Families as Networks and Communities: A Developmental Psychology of Aging and Intergenerational Relations.
To explore families as networks and communities from an evolutionary perspective, two studies were conducted with rural elders in West Virginia. In the first study, examining the social factors that influenced the use of public transportation, 28 elderly individuals, divided into three groups by transportation styles (users of public transportation, users of public transportation along with rides provided by friends and relatives, and users of informal transportation networks) were interviewed. The findings suggested that the groups did not differ with regard to availability of children, friends, or other people who could provide transportation, but rather in the length of time they had used informal transportation networks. The early use of family networks significantly affected later use. In the second study, an ethnographic inquiry into the maintenance of the social status of elders in a rural church community, members of elderly families in the church were interviewed. Results showed that elders played significant roles in relationships with one another and maintained a high social status within the community. Factors which contributed to this status included shared commitment, church attendance, a history of participation and leadership, and principle roles in the church. Family relations significantly contributed to the maintenance of status through accumulated social credit across the life span and across generations. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Multigenerational Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (36th, San Francisco, CA, November 17-22, 1983).