Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Social Network Typology and Cognitive Status Among African Americans

Social Network Typology and Cognitive Status Among African Americans Social network diversity has been linked to cognitive status in older adults. While social network diversity is often operationalized by the proportion of social roles represented within one's network, the additive effect of social roles is often unrecognized. Moreover, very few studies examine social relationships and cognitive status among African American older adults—a population with a high risk of cognitive impairment. The current study examined the relationship between social network diversity and cognitive status in a nationally representative sample of middle-aged and older African Americans. Data from the Health and Retirement Study ( N = 2,308) and latent class analysis were used to identify a social network typology using children, extended family members, and friends as social network indicators. Multinomial logistic regression was used to determine the association between social network types and cognitive status. Three social network types were identified—friend-focused, diverse, and restricted network types. African Americans with higher cognitive status were more likely to be assigned to the friend-focused social network type rather than the diverse or restricted network types. Neither the diverse nor restricted social network types were associated with cognitive status. A social network typology accounted for heterogeneity within the social networks of African American middle-aged and older adults and identified a unique social network type that appears to be protective for their cognitive health. Findings have implications for the measurement and operationalization of social networks and cognitive status and the role of social networks in maintaining cognitive functioning in African Americans. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Gerontology & Geriatrics Springer Publishing

Social Network Typology and Cognitive Status Among African Americans

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer-publishing/social-network-typology-and-cognitive-status-among-african-americans-WDQdvDQ9eV
Publisher
Springer Publishing
Copyright
© 2022 Springer Publishing Company
ISSN
0198-8794
eISSN
1944-4036
DOI
10.1891/0198-8794.41.63
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Social network diversity has been linked to cognitive status in older adults. While social network diversity is often operationalized by the proportion of social roles represented within one's network, the additive effect of social roles is often unrecognized. Moreover, very few studies examine social relationships and cognitive status among African American older adults—a population with a high risk of cognitive impairment. The current study examined the relationship between social network diversity and cognitive status in a nationally representative sample of middle-aged and older African Americans. Data from the Health and Retirement Study ( N = 2,308) and latent class analysis were used to identify a social network typology using children, extended family members, and friends as social network indicators. Multinomial logistic regression was used to determine the association between social network types and cognitive status. Three social network types were identified—friend-focused, diverse, and restricted network types. African Americans with higher cognitive status were more likely to be assigned to the friend-focused social network type rather than the diverse or restricted network types. Neither the diverse nor restricted social network types were associated with cognitive status. A social network typology accounted for heterogeneity within the social networks of African American middle-aged and older adults and identified a unique social network type that appears to be protective for their cognitive health. Findings have implications for the measurement and operationalization of social networks and cognitive status and the role of social networks in maintaining cognitive functioning in African Americans.

Journal

Annual Review of Gerontology & GeriatricsSpringer Publishing

Published: Feb 1, 2022

References