Social Support and Well-being among Older Adults in Latin America: Differential Effects of Kin and Non-kin Support

By Elizangela Storelli.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 18, 2016 $US5.00

This research examines whether support transfers from kin and non-kin differently affect psychological well-being among older adults from five countries in Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay. Latin American countries are aging rapidly and, relative to Western Europe and the United States, have had a relatively short amount of time to accommodate to their aging population. While families have traditionally served as the primary support network of older adults in the region, current demographic, social, and economic changes have cast doubt on the future viability of these informal supports. In general, little is known about the provision of support to older adults in the region, and how such support is tied to their well-being. Regression analysis of data available on more than 7,000 older adults through the Survey on Health, Well-being, and Aging in Latin America and the Caribbean (SABE), suggests support from non-relatives (non-kin) is tied to negative psychological well-being among older adults throughout the region. Such findings point to the continued importance of family support among older adults in Latin America and suggest future policies should work to support family care.

Keywords: Older Adults, Social Support, Well-being, Latin America

The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.31-46. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 18, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 787.130KB)).

Dr. Elizangela Storelli

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA