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A comparative analysis of social networks among older people in Eastern and Western European states. Laura Banks Research Fellow HSPRC, University of Brighton l.c.banks@brighton.ac.uk With Dr Phil Haynes and Professor Michael Hill

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a comparative analysis of social networks among older people in eastern and western european states

A comparative analysis of social networks among older people in Eastern and Western European states

Laura Banks

Research Fellow

HSPRC, University of Brighton

l.c.banks@brighton.ac.uk

With Dr Phil Haynes and Professor Michael Hill

This work is supported by UK ESRC research grant: RES-000-22-2114

background to project
Background to project
  • Comparing older people’s social networks in 18 countries including 3 Eastern European (and 5 non-European)
  • Using a 50+ sample from the ISSP 2001 dataset
  • Key variables include contact with close and extended relatives, friends and social and community groups.
research questions
Research Questions
  • What are the differences in the level of family contact between Western and Eastern Europe?
  • Which social factors are associated with the differences in family contact?
  • marital status
  • household and family size
  • geographical mobility
  • other social networks (friends and social participation)
  • employment
  • attitudes to caring
  • national expenditure on care
  • national prosperity
frequency of family contact
Frequency of family contact
  • How often see adult child
summary
Summary

In comparison with Western Europe, respondents from Eastern Europe were more likely to:

  • Have higher levels of family contact
  • Turn first to an adult child for support when ill (even when controlling for marital status)
  • Live in larger households and (when controlling for marital status) less likely to live in a single person household, despite having fewer children on average
  • Have lived in the same town or community for a longer period of time
  • Report having a smaller number of close friends
  • Report having lower participation in social and community groups and organisations
  • Have a lower rate of female labour market participation
  • Agree with the belief that adult children have a duty to look after their parents in old age
  • Be living in a country with relatively low GDP per head and low public expenditure on long-term care as a percentage of GDP

However, family contact was still significantly higher in Southern Europe

factors most significantly associated with high family contact
Factors most significantly associated with high family contact
  • Social participation (r= -0.844)
  • Length of time in community (r= +0.760)
  • % of female respondents in employment (r= -0.731)
  • Public expenditure on long-term care (r= -0.840)
  • % of 65+ in long-term care institutions (r= -0.784)
a comparative analysis of social networks among older people in eastern and western european states1

A comparative analysis of social networks among older people in Eastern and Western European states

Laura Banks

Research Fellow

HSPRC, University of Brighton

l.c.banks@brighton.ac.uk

With Dr Phil Haynes and Professor Michael Hill

This work is supported by UK ESRC research grant: RES-000-22-2114