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The association of family support and wellbeing in later life depends on adult attachment style

Merz, E.-M. and Consedine, N.S. (2009) The association of family support and wellbeing in later life depends on adult attachment style. Attachment & Human Development, 11, 203-221. ISSN 1461-6734.

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Official URL: http://depot.knaw.nl/7486

Abstract

The current study examines the association between family support and wellbeing in the elderly, paying particular attention to the possible moderating role of attachment style. Data from a community-dwelling, ethnically diverse, elderly sample (N ¼ 1118) were analyzed to determine the best linear combination of emotional support, instrumental support, and attachment styles predicting wellbeing. Emotional support generally was associated with higher wellbeing whereas instrumental support was related to decreased wellbeing. As expected, however, these associations were qualified by attachment style. Receiving emotional support had stronger positive and instrumental support less negative effects on the wellbeing of elderly individuals with higher attachment security. Given increased longevity, family networks may become important sources of support for the elderly. Work detailing when, how, and for whom particular types of family support are beneficial is a key agenda within developmental psychology and social gerontology. Keywords: support from kin; adult attachment style; old age; affect balance The current study examines the association between family support and wellbeing in the elderly, paying particular attention to the possible moderating role of attachment style. Data from a community-dwelling, ethnically diverse, elderly sample (N ¼ 1118) were analyzed to determine the best linear combination of emotional support, instrumental support, and attachment styles predicting wellbeing. Emotional support generally was associated with higher wellbeing whereas instrumental support was related to decreased wellbeing. As expected, however, these associations were qualified by attachment style. Receiving emotional support had stronger positive and instrumental support less negative effects on the wellbeing of elderly individuals with higher attachment security. Given increased longevity, family networks may become important sources of support for the elderly. Work detailing when, how, and for whom particular types of family support are beneficial is a key agenda within developmental psychology and social gerontology. Keywords: support from kin; adult attachment style; old age; affect balance

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Ned. Interdisc. Demografisch Instituut (NIDI)
ID Code:7486
Deposited On:09 Mar 2009 01:00
Last Modified:26 Oct 2010 14:22

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