ERIC Number: ED283086
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr-14
Reference Count: 0
A Descriptive Analysis of the Relationship between Social Support Networks and Health Status in Females Aged 50-93.
Richter, Donna L.; And Others
Although the relationship between social support networks and mortality is well established, a tendency to define and measure support differently and a failure to identify when in the disease process social support has the greatest impact have caused studies concerned with this relationship to yield inconsistent results. This study was designed to assess the use of social supports by mature women of different ages and to describe the relationship between social supports and health. Healthy women (N=114) between the ages of 50 and 93 completed a questionnaire which solicited demographic information and information about past and present life style, health status, physical activity, health beliefs, and sources of social support. The results indicated that most respondents reported being physically active and in good health. Those who reported being in good health also reported using social supports more than did those in poor health. While family members were the most frequently reported sources of social support, use of social supports in general decreased with increasing age. Regardless of perceived health status, the percent of women living alone increased with age. This tendency to live alone with increasing age, together with the decrease in use of social supports, may suggest an increased desire for independence or a manifestation of the influence of adaptation level. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Gerontological Society (8th, New Orleans, LA, April 13-16, 1987).