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Social Exchange and Well-Being: Is Giving Better than Receiving?

Publication Abstract

Liang, Jersey, Neal Krause, and J.M. Bennett. 2001. "Social Exchange and Well-Being: Is Giving Better than Receiving?" Psychology and Aging, 16: 511-523.

This research examined the effects of giving and receiving assistance on psychological well-being while taking into account other salient dimensions of social support including negative interaction and anticipated support. Structural equation models were evaluated by using data derived from a national probability sample of 1,103 individuals aged 65 years or older. Results indicate that the major dimensions of social support are significantly interrelated, not only directly but also indirectly. Giving and receiving support have both positive and negative consequences on well-being. With reference to the role of reciprocity, the evidence provides some support for the hypothesis of esteem enhancement instead of social exchange and equity theories.

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