Composite Structure of Personal Networks, Age, and Well-being in Poland
Traditionally aging research focused on the disintegration of social ties, however it has recently been observed that whom we contact has a larger impact on well-being (Cacioppo et al., 2009). The authors used data from the Social Networks II module of the International Social Survey Programme to investigate the role of social network components in successful aging. A factor analysis on 1221 Polish participants revealed 4 factors that were interpreted as: close, medium, and distant family, and friends. Well-being variables were most strongly related to contact with distant family, while SS variables were most strongly related to friends. Given SS was strongly related to distant family, while perceived SS was strongly related to close family. All family contacts decreased with age, though only distant family contacts were proactively managed. These results indicate the importance of distant family in Poland, in contrast to other countries.
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