Gender specific associations between social network and health behavior in old age

Document type: Journal Articles
Article type: Original article
Peer reviewed: Yes
Author(s): Mikael Rennemark, Bo Hagberg
Title: Gender specific associations between social network and health behavior in old age
Year: 1999
Volume: 3
Issue: 4
Pagination: 320-327
ISSN: 1360-7863
URI/DOI: 10.1080/13607869956091
ISI number: 000084326800006
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: Department of Health, Science and Mathematics (Institutionen för hälso- och naturvetenskap)
Dept. of Health, Science and Mathematics S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
Language: English
Abstract: Social networks may affect old people's health behaviours, such as their subjective health evaluations, health care utilization and symptom reporting. In the study, the relationships between social network characteristics and health behaviors were investigated for each gender separately. lt was assumed that the relationships differ between the genders and that female health behavior would be more strongly related to the social network. Social network characteristics, reported symptoms, subjective health and health care utilization were assessed for 107 men and 77 women that were 71 years of age. The results showed that, for women, a general satisfaction with the social network was associated with good subjective health. In addition, satisfaction with social participation and social anchorage were associated with a high frequency of health care utilization. For men, none of these health-related behaviors were bivariately associated with the social network. Furthermore, for women, the frequency of reported symptoms were more often associated with social network characteristics. Multivariate analyses showed that for women, dissatisfaction with social participation and support from the neighborhood predicted stomach symptoms. For men, dissatisfaction with instrumental support and contact with children predicted tension symptoms. This study suggests that health behaviour relates both to social network and gender.
Subject: Nursing & Caring Sciences\General