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Ethnic Differences Among Friend Networks Later in Life

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This study seeks to broaden the understanding of friend relationships in older adults and the differences in those friend relationships among various ethnic groups. Secondary data from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP) was analyzed to test the hypothesis that Caucasian older adults have stronger friend networks than older adults from ethnic minority groups. Friend networks were measured by size, quality, and the frequency of demands and criticism occurring in the relationship. The results indicated that friend networks of Caucasian older adults differ from those of African American, Hispanic, or other ethnic groups. The friend networks of Caucasian older adults are larger in size than those of African American and Hispanic older adults; however, Hispanic older adults rely on their friend networks more. And, African American older adults had higher levels of demands and criticisms coming from their friend networks.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2014

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