Relocation Later in Life and Contact Frequency With Friends: Do Contact Modes Matter?

TitleRelocation Later in Life and Contact Frequency With Friends: Do Contact Modes Matter?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsCho, J, Smith, J
JournalResearch on Aging
ISSN Number1552-7573
Keywordsfriendship, relocation, Social networks

We examined changes in the frequencies of in-person, telephone, and written or email contact with friends in older adults who move short or longer distances. 3820 adults aged 50 years or older were included from a nationally representative sample from the Health and Retirement Study. Using ordinal logistic regression, we found differential effects of geographical distances on the in-person, telephone, and write or email contact with friends. Specifically, in-person contact frequency was most sensitive to distance. Telephone contact frequency was only impacted by long-distance moves; however, email contact frequency was not influenced by distance. Findings suggest that the impact of relocation on contact frequency exists even though communication technology gives older adults flexibility in maintaining frequent contact with their friends. We discuss our findings through the lens of socioemotional selective theory and social convoy model. Future studies could examine factors linked to changes in the amount and modes of contact.

Citation Key12706
PubMed ID36112761