Older Adults’ Friends and Ethnicity

  •  Hyunsook Kang    


This study examines the relationships among friends and ethnicity of older adults. Friends includes friend numbers and their quality of relationships with friends of older adults in the current study. Data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP) survey (Waite et al., 2020) were used. The NSHAP study sampled persons 57-85 years of age (n=3005). The respondents completed a telephone survey in which they reported their background information (e.g., income, gender, race, age, health, retirement status, and marital status) and social network characteristics. It was hypothesized that older adults’ ethnicity differentially influenced family relations. In comparison to Anglo older adults, African and Hispanic older adults have weaker (smaller number and less cohesive) family culture. In order to identify the associations between ethnicity and friend relations, multiple regression analysis was used.

Results revealed that African American and Hispanic older adults reported larger numbers of close friends, higher quality of friend in general, and higher frequency of contact with them compared to Anglo older adults. The current study’s findings build on a convoy model to account for how older adults’ ethnicity is differentially associated with their quality and size in friend relationship for future research is to examine more diverse in friend and ethnicity variables which explain the dynamic relationships between older adults’ demographic factors and friend network.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1918-7173
  • ISSN(Online): 1918-7181
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: quarterly

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