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The influence of sexual orientation and gender on the social support networks of middle-aged and older adults [electronic resource] /

by Spencer, S. Melinda.

Abstract (Summary)
The Influence of Sexual Orientation and Gender on the Social Support Networks of Middle-Aged and Older Adults S. Melinda Spencer Social support issues have not been examined extensively among middle-aged and older lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults, despite evidence that the aging experience may differ between these individuals and same-aged heterosexuals. This study compared the structure (network composition) and function (positive and negative inter-personal interactions) of social support across gender and sexual orientation and how psychological well-being varied as a function of these variables. During this study, 105 participants were administered a survey in either a mail-back or an online format. No group differences emerged with regard to psychological well-being or overall social network size, but significant variations were found when more specific aspects of structure and function were examined. Participants were well-integrated in their networks and non-biological family played a unique role for LGB adults. Results indicated that when working with sexual minority populations, researchers must consider the potential for differences in the mechanisms which underlie traditional psychosocial models. iii
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:West Virginia University

School Location:USA - West Virginia

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:middle aged gay men lesbians older social networks

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