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Age Moderates the Relationship between Social Support and Psychosocial Problems
Unformatted Document Text:  Age Moderates 5 positively associated with both concurrent (Jones & Moore, 1990) and future (Andersson, Mullins, & Johnson, 1999) loneliness. At later life stages, the picture appears to change dramatically. Some studies show that social support from either family or friends is entirely unrelated to loneliness and life satisfaction in elderly people (Dykstra, 1993; McCamish-Svensson, Samulelsson, Hagberg, Svensson, & Dehlin, 1999; Mullins, Elston, & Gutkowski, 1996). This may be due to a displacement of these sources of social support by spousal social support (but see Kim, Hisata, Kai, & Lee, 2000). It is clear that at early points in the life span (i.e., late-adolescence through young adulthood) psychosocial well being is more strongly tied to social support from friends than it is to social support from family (Allen, Ciambrone, & Welch, 2000). Young people seek and receive more social support from friends versus family (Levitt, Weber, and Guacci, 1993), they self-disclose more to friends than family (Parker & Parrott, 1995), and self- disclosure with friends, not family, is negatively associated with their degree of loneliness (Franzoi & Davis, 1985). As people progress through middle and old age, this pattern changes and becomes less clear. Some finding indicate that interaction with, and social support received from, kin are more strongly related to quality of life, and general well- being in the middle-aged and elderly (e.g., Lynch, 1998; Walen & Lachman, 2000). This is consistent with findings showing that that the elderly receive and prefer social support from kin networks over friendship networks (Adams & Blieszner, 1995; Reinhaardt, 2001; Stacey-Konnert & Pynoos, 1992). However, other studies show that friendships are more important than kin relationships to the moral and well-being of elderly people (e.g., Arling, 1976; Larson, Mannell, & Zuzanek, 1986; Lee & Shehan, 1989; Siebert, Mutran, & Reitzes, 1999).

Authors: Segrin, Chris.
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Age Moderates
5
positively associated with both concurrent (Jones & Moore, 1990) and future (Andersson,
Mullins, & Johnson, 1999) loneliness. At later life stages, the picture appears to change
dramatically. Some studies show that social support from either family or friends is
entirely unrelated to loneliness and life satisfaction in elderly people (Dykstra, 1993;
McCamish-Svensson, Samulelsson, Hagberg, Svensson, & Dehlin, 1999; Mullins, Elston,
& Gutkowski, 1996). This may be due to a displacement of these sources of social support
by spousal social support (but see Kim, Hisata, Kai, & Lee, 2000).
It is clear that at early points in the life span (i.e., late-adolescence through young
adulthood) psychosocial well being is more strongly tied to social support from friends than
it is to social support from family (Allen, Ciambrone, & Welch, 2000). Young people seek
and receive more social support from friends versus family (Levitt, Weber, and Guacci,
1993), they self-disclose more to friends than family (Parker & Parrott, 1995), and self-
disclosure with friends, not family, is negatively associated with their degree of loneliness
(Franzoi & Davis, 1985). As people progress through middle and old age, this pattern
changes and becomes less clear. Some finding indicate that interaction with, and social
support received from, kin are more strongly related to quality of life, and general well-
being in the middle-aged and elderly (e.g., Lynch, 1998; Walen & Lachman, 2000). This is
consistent with findings showing that that the elderly receive and prefer social support from
kin networks over friendship networks (Adams & Blieszner, 1995; Reinhaardt, 2001;
Stacey-Konnert & Pynoos, 1992). However, other studies show that friendships are more
important than kin relationships to the moral and well-being of elderly people (e.g., Arling,
1976; Larson, Mannell, & Zuzanek, 1986; Lee & Shehan, 1989; Siebert, Mutran, & Reitzes,
1999).


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