Life satisfaction and associations with social network and support variables in three samples of elderly people

Ann Bowling, Morag Farquhar, Peter Browne

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Research evidence concerning the contributions of social networks and support to the subjective wellbeing (ie life satisfaction) of older persons is not consistent. This article reports the results of an investigation of social network type and health status and their effects on life satisfaction in relation to 1415 elderly people from three independent but comparable surveys: two in City and Hackney, London (urban area) and one in Braintree, Essex (semi-rural area). The percentages of the total variation in overall life satisfaction which was explained by the model ranged from 22% to 33% between samples. The most variation was explained among the sampleaged 85+ living in inner London. Although most of the variance remains unexplained, healthstatus was a more powerful predictor of life satisfaction among respondents living in City and Hackney, but not those living in Braintree.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-566
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1991


  • Life satisfaction
  • elderly
  • social support
  • social network

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