ERIC Number: ED305571
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Comparing the Social Support Systems and Friendship Expectancies of Young Adults and Older Adults.
Burgio, Maria R.; Tryanski, Mandy
Some research suggests that sources of social support change through the lifespan. Given that the support network changes because of both the individual's needs and the particular life stage of the individual, peer relationships may emerge as crucial sources of emotional support at different times in the lifespan. This study examined friend and family relationships of 142 older adults and 38 young adult college students who completed a self-report questionnaire measuring friendship expectancies, demographic backgrounds, health status, global life satisfaction, and interpersonal affect. Subjects also completed the Network Analysis Profile which measured the quantitative and qualitative aspects of both family and friend relationships. The results revealed that young and older adults were not similar in the support they acquired from close kin and close friends; older adults' support friends influenced positive affective states but not life satisfaction while young adults' support friends were just as important as support family for life satisfaction with neither relationship influencing affect. Young and older adults were not similarly affected by interacting within their entire friendship network. Finally, older and younger adults differed in how their cognitive assessments mediated interaction outcomes. These findings suggest that psychological well-being is multidimensional through the lifespan and that achieving well-being may be contingent upon receiving specific support which assists in dealing with the particular life stage tasks. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Syracuse Univ., Utica, NY. Utica Coll.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society (41st, San Francisco, CA, November 18-22, 1988).