Support Network Type and Health Service Utilization
AbstractA secondary analysis of data from a national survey of elderly people in Israel applied a quick clustering procedure to a set of relational and interactional variables to derive a typology of support networks. The procedure produced six network types significantly differentiated by the gender, age, education, years of residence in the country, and health status of the focal elders in the network. They are characterized respectively as (1) diversified, (2) friend and family, (3) narrow family focused, (4) attenuated, (5) religious family focused, and (6) traditional extended family support networks. Respondents in the different network types were found to have differing degrees of health service utilization, as measured on a combined index of nine health services. The healthiest respondents with the most diversified support networks made the greatest use, and those with family-focused networks made the least use of health services.