Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Social Support

  • Joonmo SonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_504-1



Social support is a health protective resource provided by informal social ties. Social support reduces the impact of health hazards against physical and mental health. That is, social support may not prevent health hazards themselves such as accidents and illnesses. However, if such hazards struck people, those with social support are likely to get over them more effectively and sooner than others without. Thus, social support is usually called a moderator because it mitigates the influence of health hazards (Cobb 1976). The negative impact of losing social support looms larger for older adults because their network size tends to shrink because they leave various social roles that they occupied as they get aged (Matt and Dean 1993). The lack of social support is also organically related to social isolation in older adults and its health consequences, for...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

Section editors and affiliations

  • Joonmo Son
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore