The Health Effects of Negative Social Exchanges in Later Life
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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