|Title||Social support and social strain from children and subsequent health and well-being among older U.S. adults|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2023|
|Authors||Wilkinson, R, Nakamura, JS, Kim, ES, VanderWeele, TJ|
|Journal||Journal of Social and Personal Relationships|
|Keywords||children, Social strain, Social Support|
Social relationships contribute to well-being across the life course and may be especially vital resources for supporting healthy aging among older adults. This research examined associations between perceptions of social support and social strain from children assessed by older adult parents and 35 indicators of physical, behavioral, and psychosocial health and well-being. We utilized three waves of data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS; N = 11,609), a diverse, national sample of U.S. adults over age 50. We found that increases in social support were associated with better subsequent outcomes on all psychological indicators (higher positive affect, life satisfaction, optimism, purpose in life, mastery, health mastery, financial mastery; lower depression, depressive symptoms, hopelessness, negative affect, perceived constraints) and most social factors (lower loneliness, greater likelihood of contact with children and other family) over the four-year follow-up period. Results also showed that increases in social strain were subsequently related to worse functioning across all indicators of psychological well-being and select social factors (i.e., higher loneliness) and psychological distress outcomes (i.e., higher hopelessness, negative affect, and perceived constraints). However, we did not find evidence that changes in social support and social strain were associated with physical health or health behavior outcomes.