Correlates of perceived social support and equality of interpersonal relationships at mid-life.
An investigation into the correlates of perceived social support and the equality of interpersonal relationships at mid-life was conducted using a sample of 3954 adults from the University of North Carolina Alumni Heart Study (UNCAHS). Participants ranged in age from forty to fifty years. Results suggested that while the number of family roles and social activities are the same for men and women, women perceive a greater availability of social support and report they give more than they take in relationships with family. There was no association found between the perceived availability of social support and global indices of equality of interpersonal relationships; suggesting an independence between these two psychological aspects of social support. Further, multiple regression correlational analyses indicated gender, level of social activity, and self-esteem as significant predictors of perceived social support; with self-esteem being the best single predictor. Relatedly, gender and number of children were found to be significant predictors of the perceived equality of relationships with family. These findings suggest differences in mid-life men and women's psychological perception of the availability of social support, and the give and take of relationships with family.
Von Dras, DD; Williams, RB; Kaplan, BH; Siegler, IC
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