ERIC Number: ED292050
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Impact of Informal Social Support on Well-Being: Comparison across Stages of Adulthood.
Social gerontological studies have found little relation between family availability and interaction and well-being of the elderly. Friendship and neighboring interactions seem more consistently related to well-being, but even this is not universal. This study, conducted to examine whether similar patterns exist in other age groups, included young adults, early middle-aged adults, late middle-aged adults, and older adults to compare the effects of social support on well-being in different stages of adulthood. Data were obtained from the Quality of American Survey which provided interview data from 3,692 adults about their social-psychological condition, their needs and expectations from life, and the degree to which their needs were satisfied. The results showed that family support had the strongest effect on well-being of men and women in early adulthood. Support by friends was the next highest predictor of well-being, followed by support by neighbors. All three supports were found to be significantly related to well-being for young adults. Similar patterns were found for other age groups as well. These findings support the hypothesis that social support is positively related to well-being. These findings were different from findings of previous social genrontological studies, possibly due to the difference in measuring interaction and social support variables. The findings do appear to be consistent with various theories in social gerontology. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Council of Family Relations (49th, Atlanta, GA, November 14-19, 1987).