ERIC Number: ED272775
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Stability in Social Relationships between Young-Old and Old-Old Age.
Field, Dorothy; Schaie, K. Warner
While changes in levels of activity and in social relationships in old age have interested researchers for some time, longitudinal studies have only recently begun to yield information about changes in social relationships across time for older adults. Parents (N=74) of the 1928-1929 Guidance Study and Berkeley Growth Study children, who are now involved in the Berkeley Older Generation Study, participated in a follow-up study examining stability and change in social relationships. Interviews conducted in 1968-1969 (young-old) and in 1982-1984 (old-old) collected in-depth information on friendship patterns and involvement in community activities, health, marital status, church attendance, and family relationships. The results regarding social relationships revealed a general pattern of continuing involvement, with 74% of subjects showing no decrease in involvement from young-old (60-75) to old-old age (85+ years). There was continued social involvement with no changes in the amount of club activity or church attendance or in the sociability or importance older persons gave to friendship. Sex differences were found, with men being significantly less likely than women to report that they still wanted friends; they also reported fewer new friends and less contact with friends. A comparison of the old-old (75-84) with the very-old revealed that involvement outside the family was lower for the oldest individuals and that such involvement declined over time for both groups. These results suggest that social relationships are highly variable in the years of old age. While there was stability for the group as a whole, individual differences were striking. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Aging (DHHS/PHS), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development (Tours, France, July 1985). For related document, see CG 019 257.