The current study sought to clarify the effects of social support on the psychological well-being of rural elders. Data were provided by 180 older men and women (mean age = 73.6 years) living in Northern Appalachia. Similar to the demographic profile of this region, most (97.2%) of the participants were Caucasian. Although mean differences in perceptions of emotional support did not emerge, the relative importance of various sources of support differed for men and women. For men, higher satisfaction with family support was associated with lower negative affect and higher positive affect. For women, although satisfaction with emotional support from family and more years of education were associated with lower levels of negative affect, emotional support from friends enhanced positive affect. The results suggest that new programs may be needed in order to help older rural men and women to maintain well-being in late life.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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