Perceptions of reciprocity and relationship quality among elderly female nonkin peers Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/s7526g18f

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  • There is increasing recognition of the importance of older adults in providing support to and maintaining relationships with their nonkin peers. Social trends, such as smaller family size, may reduce the role of family members and increase the importance of nonkin peers in providing help to the elderly. Relationships with peers have a greater influence on the well-being of the elderly than do interactions with family members. The purpose of this study was to examine the association of perceived reciprocity of aid exchange and relationship quality among elderly female nonkin peers from a social exchange perspective. A review of the literature led to the hypotheses that perceived reciprocity of instrumental, social, and total aid exchange would have a curvilinear association with relationship quality. The volunteer sample of 62 women over 60 years of age participated in interviews tapping help given and received, demographic data, and relationship quality. Respondents were more likely to be widowed and to have lower incomes than the general population; the average respondent's health was fair to good. A series of three polynomial regression analyses were used to determine if perceptions of reciprocity in aid exchange had a linear or curvilinear association with relationship quality. Data suggest that respondents perceived a greater exchange of socioemotional than instrumental help and reported giving more help than they received. The perceived amount of help exchanged was low compared to other studies while perceived relationship quality was relatively high. Regardless of the operationalization of reciprocity as a linear or a curvilinear term, perceived reciprocity among older female nonkin peers was not helpful in explaining variance in relationship quality. This lack of association held for perceived reciprocity in instrumental, socioemotional, and total help exchanged. Limitations in the study and possible reasons for the nonsignificant outcomes are addressed.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-01-04T18:13:29Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 MartinSallyS1993.pdf: 31621679 bytes, checksum: 7034d7ff9107833212b4d5cc84c2a57e (MD5)
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