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The relationships among family, friends, and psychological well-being for Thai elderly

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Thanakwang, K., Berit Ingersoll-Dayton, and K. Soonthorndhada. 2012. "The relationships among family, friends, and psychological well-being for Thai elderly." Aging and Mental Health, 16(8): 993-1003.

OBJECTIVES: The extent to which family and friends contribute to psychological well-being (PWB) may be subject to cultural variability. This study examines the mechanisms by which relationships with family and friends contribute to PWB among Thai elders. METHOD: Interviews were conducted with 469 men and women aged 60 and older in Nan Province, Thailand. The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling, controlling for age, gender, education, income, marital status, and health status. RESULTS: Family and friendship networks have a significant direct effect on family and friendship support. However, family and friendship networks do not have a significant direct effect on PWB, but rather an indirect effect via social support. Similarly, friendship support mediates the relationship between friendship networks and family support. Both family support and friendship support are significantly related to PWB but family support is the stronger predictor. CONCLUSION: Using an adapting theoretical framework developed by Berkman, Glass, Brissette, & Seeman (2000) allows researchers to map the various pathways by which relationships with family and friends may contribute to PWB among older Thai adults.

DOI:10.1080/13607863.2012.692762 (Full Text)

Country of focus: Thailand.

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