Networks in later life: An examination of race differences in social support networks

M. K. Peek, G. S. O'Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Although there has been considerable interest in the effects of social support networks on various health outcomes for older adults, there has been little research directed toward the predictors of networks. In this study, we examine race differences in the determinants of social support network characteristics (size, frequency of interaction with network members, proportion of kin, and amount of support received and given to network members) using data from an older community sample drawn from the North Carolina site of the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (EPESE) focusing on adults sixty-five and older (n = 4124). This research focuses on the extent to which race differences in network dimensions are present and whether these variations can be attributed to varying social structural positions held by African Americans and Whites. The results indicate that several race differences persist even when controlling for social structural variables. The structural argument and future implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-229
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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