Evidence has accumulated in recent years indicating that older adults' negative social exchanges with members of their social networks may be more consequential for well-being than positive exchanges with network members. Despite the mounting evidence that such negative exchanges detract substantially from well-being, relatively little is known about the factors that influence older adults' vulnerability to such exchanges. The proposed research project seeks to address this gap in knowledge by examining two complementary dimensions of vulnerability: exposure and reactivity.
The specific aims are: (1) To compare the prevalence and impact of positive vs. negative social exchanges, using an assessment strategy designed to produce comprehensive and maximally comparable measures of these two kinds of exchanges; (2) To investigate the role of social network characteristics, stressful life events, and individual differences as predictors of older adults' exposure to negative social exchanges; (3) To investigate the role of social network characteristics, and individual differences as predictors of older adults' reactivity to negative social exchanges. To achieve these aims, the investigators will conduct a longitudinal study of a representative sample of 875 noninstitutionalized, cognitively functional older adults. Study participants will be interviewed every six months, with interviews conducted in person at baseline and subsequent interviews conducted by telephone at 6, 12, 18, 24 and 30 months. The interviews will obtain detailed information about the participants' demographic characteristics, positive and negative social exchanges, stressful life events, and emotional health. This multi-wave study design will allow us to investigate the dynamics of older adults' positive and negative social network transactions before and after the occurrence of stressful life events.
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|Mavandadi, Shahrzad; Rook, Karen S; Newsom, Jason T (2007) Positive and negative social exchanges and disability in later life: an investigation of trajectories of change. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 62:S361-70|
|August, Kristin J; Rook, Karen S; Newsom, Jason T (2007) The joint effects of life stress and negative social exchanges on emotional distress. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 62:S304-14|
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