Longitudinal Influences of Social Network Characteristics on Subjective Well-Being of Older Adults

Rafnsson, Snorri Bjorn, Shankar, Aparna and Steptoe, Andrew (2015) Longitudinal Influences of Social Network Characteristics on Subjective Well-Being of Older Adults. Journal of Aging and Health, 27 (5). pp. 919-934. ISSN 0898-2643

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/0898264315572111


To investigate the influence of social network characteristics on subjective well-being over 6 years in a population sample of older adults.

A total of 4,116 participants in the English Longitudinal Study of Aging provided baseline data on social network characteristics and potential confounding factors, and complete follow-up data on 2 measures of subjective well-being.

Social network size and network contact frequency were positively and independently associated with future life satisfaction and quality of life after controlling for confounding factors, including demographic characteristics, socioeconomic factors, and long-standing illness. In contrast, social network diversity was not independently related to future subjective well-being.

Different aspects of people’s social networks may help sustain levels of subjective well-being in older age. The role of close relationships and frequent contact in later life may be particularly important. These results highlight the need for examining different aspects of social networks for promoting well-being of older people.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: social networks, subjective well-being, quality of life, English Longitudinal Study of Aging
Subjects: 300 Social sciences
300 Social sciences > 360 Social problems & services; associations
Department: School of Social Professions
Depositing User: Snorri Rafnsson
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2018 12:20
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2018 15:31
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/1366

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