An examination of sex differences in social support among older men and women
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
This paper is designed to empirically investigate sex differences in social support. Several types of sex differences are examined, including quantity and quality of support, the relationship between quantitative and qualitative measures of support, the number and source of support provided and received, and the relative predictive power of quality and quantity of support on well-being. The data are taken from the Supports of the Elderly, a national survey of older people (Kahn and Antonucci, 1984). Included in the present study are 214 men and 166 women ranging in age from 50 to 95 who are married and have at least one child. The analyses reveal that women have larger networks and receive supports from multiple sources, while men tend to rely on their spouses exclusively. Men report greater satisfaction with marriage than women. Quantitative supports are more related to qualitative supports for women than for men. For both sexes, the quality of support rather than the quantity of support has significantly greater effects on well-being; both the quantity and quality of social support have a greater impact on the well-being of women compared to men.
- Antonucci, T. C., & Akiyama, H. Social networks in adult life and a preliminary examination of the convoy model. Journal of Gerontology, 1987, 42(5), 519–527.
- Babchuk, N. Aging and primary relations. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 1978–1979, 9(2), 186–204.
- Bernard, J. The future of marriage. New York: World Publishing Company, 1972.
- Burda, P. C. Jr., Vaux, A., & Schill, T. Social support resources: variation across sex and sex role. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 1984, 10,(1), 119–126.
- Butler, T., Giordano, S., & Neren, S. Gender and sex-role attributes as predictors of utilization of natural support systems during personal stress events. Sex Roles, 1985, 13(9/10), 515–524.
- Campbell, A. A sense of well-being in America. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1980.
- Depner, C. E, & Ingersoll-Dayton, B. Conjugal social support: Patterns in later life. Journal of Gerontology, 1985, 40(6), 761–766.
- Griffith, J. Social support providers: Who are they? Where are they met? And the relationship of network characteristics to psychological distress. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 1985, 6(1), 41–60.
- Harris, L. The myth and reality of aging in America. Washington, D.C.: The National Council on Aging, 1975.
- Kahn, R. L., & Antonucci, T. C. Social supports of the elderly: Family/friends/professionals. Final report to the National Institute on Aging, No. #AG01632, 1984.
- Kessler, R. C., McLeod, J. D., & Wethington, E. The costs of caring: A perspective on the relationships between sex and psychological distress. In I. G. Sarason & B. R. Sarason (Eds.), Social support: Theory, research and applications. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1985.
- Leavy, R. L. Social support and psychological disorder: A review. Journal of Community Psychology, 1983, 11, 13–19.
- Levitt, M. J., Antonucci, T. C., Clark, M. C., Rotton, J., & Finley, G. E. Social support and well-being: Preliminary indicators based on two samples of the elderly. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 1985–86, 21(1), 61–77.
- Longino, C. F., Jr., & Lipman, A. The married, the formerly married and the never married: Support system differentials of older women in planned retirement communities. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 1982, 15(4), 285–297.
- Lowenthal, M. F., & Haven, C. Interaction and adaptation: Intimacy as a critical variable. American Sociological Review, 1968, 33, 20–30.
- Maccoby, E. E., & Jacklin, C. N. The psychology of sex differences. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1974.
- Sarason, I. G., Levine, H. M., Basham, R. B., & Sarason, B. R. Assessing social support: The Social Support Questionnaire. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1983, 44, 127–139.
- Troll, L. E. Family issues in current gerontology. Gerontological Society of America: Springer Publishing Company, in press.
- Vaux, A. Variations in social support associated with gender, ethnicity, and age. Journal of Social issues, 1985, 41(1), 89–110.
- Veroff, J., Douvan, E., & Kulka, R. The inner American. New York: Basic Books, 1981.
- An examination of sex differences in social support among older men and women
Volume 17, Issue 11-12 , pp 737-749
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
- Additional Links
- Industry Sectors