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The Health Effects of Negative Social Exchanges in Later Life

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Negative exchanges with social network members occur less often than positive social exchanges, but have potent effects. Evidence indicates that negative social exchanges adversely affect multiple aspects of older adults’ health, including self-rated health, disease and disability, cognitive functioning, and mortality. These effects emerge in epidemiological and laboratory studies that control for socio-demographic characteristics, comorbid health conditions, biological risk factors, and health behaviors. We have begun to identify physiological processes that damage health over time and may be triggered by recurring negative social exchanges, so it is important for future research and practice to gain a better understanding of what makes some older adults more vulnerable than others to negative social exchanges.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2014

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  • Practitioners and researchers in the field of aging have long relied on Generations to provide them with in-depth research, practical applications, and valuable insight into the lives of older adults and those who work with them. Each issue features several articles on a single topic, guest-edited by one or more recognized experts in the subject area, and includes contributions from a range of practitioners, researchers, policymakers and elders. Authoritative and comprehensive, Generations offers a wide range of perspectives on relevant and timely topics in aging. This is what makes Generations an ideal resource for professionals, academics and anyone interested in aging.
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