Does embeddedness protect? Personal network density and vulnerability to mistreatment among older American adults

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Date: July 2015
From: The Journals of Gerontology, Series B(Vol. 70, Issue 4)
Publisher: Gerontological Society of America
Document Type: Author abstract; Report
Length: 166 words

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Abstract :

Objectives. This study considers the association between personal network density and risk of elder mistreatment among American adults. Method. Using egocentric network data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, we employ logistic and negative binomial regression to predict recent experience of elder mistreatment. We further unpack the density mistreatment association by linking perpetrators to the victim's network and by assessing their position within its structure. Results. As hypothesized, older adults with dense networks had a lower risk of elder mistreatment. Interestingly, the perpetrators of these harmful acts were often found within seniors' close networks--though there was little evidence to suggest that perpetrators themselves were poorly embedded in the network. Discussion. Results highlight how network-level phenomena can operate distinctively from dyadic mistreatment processes. Dense personal networks seem to provide structural protection against elder mistreatment, even as many offensive acts are committed by those that are close to the victim and relatively well embedded in their network. Key words: Abuse--Elder mistreatment--Interpersonal relationships--Social networks. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbu071

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A421523794