Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Sociology

Supervisor(s)

Professor Rachel Margolis

Abstract

Considerable research exists on the influence of social relationships for health in old age. However, few studies have compared the associations of social connectedness and social support with the health of older adults. Using data from the CCHS-Healthy Aging, this study examines how these constructs are related to the self-reported health status of immigrant and native-born adults aged 65+. Results show that social connectedness and social support are differently associated with health in later life; whereas connectedness is linked to better health, social support is negatively related with health once levels of social connectedness are considered. Furthermore, these associations hold regardless of whether older adults’ experiences or perceptions of connectedness and support are examined. However, results reveal that social connectedness is more strongly related to better health among immigrants than the native-born. Efforts to promote health in later life can focus on ensuring older adults are socially connected, particularly older immigrants.


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