ERIC Number: ED396212
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Social Network and Sefl Conception of Elderly People. Research Bulletin 89.
Klason, Satya Mehndiratta
This study examined older adults' quality of interpersonal relationships and self-concept through semi-structured interviews with 39 70-year-old people in Malmo, Sweden. The gathered data is described on individual and group levels. Findings indicate that the elderly in this group have frequent contacts with their children and siblings. They maintain contacts with their relatives, friends and neighbors. The kinship network is active in terms of frequency of contact and has priority over other networks. Neighbors and friends are not utilized as social resources. The subjects' social network is also characterized by quality. The social network provides confidants, is available in times of need, gives and takes help, and even satisfies the emotional needs of its members. Quality develops through a life-long process of social interaction with others. It facilitates compensation for lost roles. Good relations established earlier in life become a reserve in old age. The absence of important persons and lack of quality in social networks do not automatically bring about changes in elderly individuals' views of themselves. There is a relative continuity between their experiences in the past and in the present. They consider themselves rather healthy. They feel appreciated by their friends and relatives. However, they regard their education as insufficient and feel themselves slightly unwanted now. A small group, mostly women, lack quality in social networks, have conflicts, feel dissatisfied, and desire reconciliations. There are some changes in their self-perceptions, but without trend. Six appendices present data. Contains 259 references. (Author/TS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Helsinki Univ. (Finland). Dept. of Education.