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Social network types among older Korean adults: Associations with subjective health

 Sung Yun Sohn  ;  Won-tak Joo  ;  Woo Jung Kim  ;  Se Joo Kim  ;  Yoosik Youm  ;  Hyeon Chang Kim  ;  Yeong-Ran Park  ;  Eun Lee 
 Social Science & Medicine, Vol.173 : 88-95, 2017 
Journal Title
 Social Science & Medicine 
Issue Date
Aged ; Aged, 80 and over ; Aging/psychology* ; Bayes Theorem ; Cluster Analysis ; Female ; Health Status* ; Humans ; Interpersonal Relations ; Male ; Middle Aged ; Public Health/methods ; Republic of Korea ; Self Report ; Social Support*
Depression ; Korea ; Older adults ; Self-rated health ; Social network typology
With population aging now a global phenomenon, the health of older adults is becoming an increasingly important issue. Because the Korean population is aging at an unprecedented rate, preparing for public health problems associated with old age is particularly salient in this country. As the physical and mental health of older adults is related to their social relationships, investigating the social networks of older adults and their relationship to health status is important for establishing public health policies. The aims of this study were to identify social network types among older adults in South Korea and to examine the relationship of these social network types with self-rated health and depression. Data from the Korean Social Life, Health, and Aging Project were analyzed. Model-based clustering using finite normal mixture modeling was conducted to identify the social network types based on ten criterion variables of social relationships and activities: marital status, number of children, number of close relatives, number of friends, frequency of attendance at religious services, attendance at organized group meetings, in-degree centrality, out-degree centrality, closeness centrality, and betweenness centrality. Multivariate regression analysis was conducted to examine associations between the identified social network types and self-rated health and depression. The model-based clustering analysis revealed that social networks clustered into five types: diverse, family, congregant, congregant-restricted, and restricted. Diverse or family social network types were significantly associated with more favorable subjective mental health, whereas the restricted network type was significantly associated with poorer ratings of mental and physical health. In addition, our analysis identified unique social network types related to religious activities. In summary, we developed a comprehensive social network typology for older Korean adults.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Psychiatry (정신과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Preventive Medicine and Public Health (예방의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
김세주(Kim, Se Joo) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5438-8210
김현창(Kim, Hyeon Chang) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7867-1240
손성연(Sohn, Sung Yun)
이은(Lee, Eun) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7462-0144
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