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Social network type and health-related behaviors: Evidence from an American national survey

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  • Shiovitz-Ezra, Sharon
  • Litwin, Howard

Abstract

This study examined the association between social network type and engagement in physical activity, alcohol abuse and use of complementary and alternative medicine by older Americans. Data from the National Social Life, Health & Aging Project were employed. Multivariate logistic regressions conducted separately for each health behavior showed that older people embedded in less resourceful network types were at greater risk for alcohol abuse, physical inactivity and less use of complementary and alternative medicine, net of the effects of sociodemographic characteristics, health, and the quality of the social relationships. The study underscores the importance of the construct of social network type for understanding healthy lifestyle in late life.

Suggested Citation

  • Shiovitz-Ezra, Sharon & Litwin, Howard, 2012. "Social network type and health-related behaviors: Evidence from an American national survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(5), pages 901-904.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:5:p:901-904
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.04.031
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Due, Pernille & Holstein, Bjørn & Lund, Rikke & Modvig, Jens & Avlund, Kirsten, 1999. "Social relations: network, support and relational strain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(5), pages 661-673, March.
    2. Stephen Smith & Angela Jaszczak & Jessica Graber & Katie Lundeen & Sara Leitsch & Erin Wargo & Colm O'Muircheartaigh, 2009. "Instrument Development, Study Design Implementation, and Survey Conduct for the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 64(suppl_1), pages 20-29.
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    4. Sheung-Tak Cheng & Coty K. L. Lee & Alfred C. M. Chan & Edward M. F. Leung & Jik-Joen Lee, 2009. "Social Network Types and Subjective Well-being in Chinese Older Adults," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 64(6), pages 713-722.
    5. Katherine L. Fiori & Toni C. Antonucci & Kai S. Cortina, 2006. "Social Network Typologies and Mental Health Among Older Adults," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 61(1), pages 25-32.
    6. Katherine L. Fiori & Jacqui Smith & Toni C. Antonucci, 2007. "Social Network Types Among Older Adults: A Multidimensional Approach," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 62(6), pages 322-330.
    7. Colm O'Muircheartaigh & Stephanie Eckman & Stephen Smith, 2009. "Statistical Design and Estimation for the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 64(suppl_1), pages 12-19.
    8. Berkman, Lisa F. & Glass, Thomas & Brissette, Ian & Seeman, Teresa E., 2000. "From social integration to health: Durkheim in the new millennium," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 843-857, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sohn, Sung Yun & Joo, Won-tak & Kim, Woo Jung & Kim, Se Joo & Youm, Yoosik & Kim, Hyeon Chang & Park, Yeong-Ran & Lee, Eun, 2017. "Social network types among older Korean adults: Associations with subjective health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 173(C), pages 88-95.
    2. Van Cauwenberg, Jelle & De Donder, Liesbeth & Clarys, Peter & De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse & Buffel, Tine & De Witte, Nico & Dury, Sarah & Verté, Dominique & Deforche, Benedicte, 2014. "Relationships between the perceived neighborhood social environment and walking for transportation among older adults," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 23-30.
    3. repec:oup:geronb:v:72:y:2017:i:4:p:716-726. is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Christian Deindl & Martina Brandt & Karsten Hank, 2016. "Social Networks, Social Cohesion, and Later-Life Health," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(3), pages 1175-1187, April.

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