Life goes on: Influence of social network on mental health after late-life partnership dissolution
Celia Fernandez-Carro, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia
Jordi Gumà, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
We aim at assessing the importance of the features of social networks in depression levels after the end of a union distinguishing between separatio/divorce and the death of partner. For this purpose we explore the association between depression and characteristics of social networks (extension, structure and level of satisfaction with the social network) in old age, comparing their protective effect over different types of union interruption; divorced and widow. Our hypothesis are: 1) those with an extended social network might show lower levels of depression after finishing their relationship; 2) there must be differences in the values of depression according to the reason that origins the end of the relationship, separation or loss of partner. We expect to find gender differences in our results according to different male and female probabilities of becoming divorced or widow as well as differences in social networks profiles.
Preliminary results from linear regression model with depression scale as a dependent variable and the interaction between "Time since the end of partnership happened" and "Size of the social network" confirm the protective effect of high social networks as well as significant differences by sex (women display higher values of depression).
Presented in Session 15: Family Dynamics and Health