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Negative Interaction in Late Life: Issues in the Stability and Generalizability of Conflict Across Relationships

Publication Abstract

Krause, Neal, and K.S. Rook. 2003. "Negative Interaction in Late Life: Issues in the Stability and Generalizability of Conflict Across Relationships." Journals of Gerontology B: Psychological and Social Sciences, 58(2): 88-99.

This study used an inductive approach to probe more deeply into the nature of negative interaction in late life. The data come from a nationwide longitudinal survey of older adults (N = 515). We began with two empirical observations and derived theoretical propositions from them that have not been explored extensively in mainstream gerontological research on negative interaction. First, the findings reveal that unpleasant interaction is quite stable over a 6-year period. This suggests that interpersonal difficulties are chronic stressors that may arise because at least some older people are involved in conflicted relationships that are difficult to terminate. The second empirical finding reveals that older adults who encounter interpersonal problems in one social relationship (e.g., with children) tend to encounter them in others as well (e.g., with friends). This suggests that some older people may play a role in creating the negative interactions they encounter. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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