Social Support Mechanisms of the Elderly: Insights from the British Household Panel Survey

By Robert Raeside, Kaberi Gayen and Jesus Canduela.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Many European countries are facing a future of an ageing society. This has arisen from a prolonged period of low fertility. To provide support for the elderly reliance is often placed on support from younger relatives and from friends. To understand more about how these support mechanisms work in the 21st Century the British Household Panel Survey which is an annual survey of around 5,500 households was used. This survey started in 1991 and follows a cohort of households over the years. In the survey some data has been collected on social network and social support variables. This data is examined for those aged over 65 years in order to investigate the degree of support available to the elderly. This support will be correlated to the physical and mental wellbeing of the respondent to ascertain its importance. How these relationships have changed with time is explored by comparing data from 1997 to 2007. It is argued that family based support will decline and more recognition of support from friends and the community is required. From this research recommendations are made to inform policy on how to provide support for the elderly.

Keywords: Elderly, Social Support, Social Networks, Wellbeing

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 8, pp.163-178. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 912.140KB).

Prof. Robert Raeside

Professor of Applied Statistics, Employment Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Professor Raeside is a professor of appied statistics, as such he has undertaken research in a number of areas including forecasting and quality improvement. however, in recent years his research focus has been on social networks applied to demographic systems. He has a number of publications in this area.

Dr. Kaberi Gayen

Associate Professor, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dr. Gayen is an expert in communication research and has published widely in the area and undertaken research for divisions of the Bangladeshi civil service advising on communications policy. Dr Gayen is an associate professor at the University of Dhaka. One of her main research areas is social network analysis.

Dr. Jesus Canduela

Statistician, Research Fellow, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

He is a research statistician with interests in the analysis of large social science datasets. He is also interested in aspects of applied forecasting.


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