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Interpersonal Relationships and HealthSocial and Clinical Psychological Mechanisms$
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Christopher R. Agnew and Susan C. South

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199936632

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199936632.001.0001

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Social Connectedness at Older Ages and Implications for Health and Well-Being

Social Connectedness at Older Ages and Implications for Health and Well-Being

Chapter:
(p.202) Chapter 9 Social Connectedness at Older Ages and Implications for Health and Well-Being
Source:
Interpersonal Relationships and Health
Author(s):

Linda J. Waite

James Iveniuk

Edward O. Laumann

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199936632.003.0010

This chapter puts forward an interactive, biopsychosocial model of aging, tested and illustrated through a synthesis of findings from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP). Using these findings, this chapter demonstrates that many older Americans have large and strong social networks, and they tend to be sexually active into old age as long as their physical health remains good. Therefore, it seems that old age does not necessarily precipitate disengagement from meaningful social relations. Furthermore, having a large, close social network does not always lead to better health: characteristics of network structure and information sharing among network contacts may also be crucial for well-being. The chapter then closes with future possibilities for investigating biopsychosocial perspectives on aging, with the promise of longitudinal and dyadic data through NSHAP.

Keywords:   social networks, sexuality, aging, health, interactive biopsychosocial model, NSHAP

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