Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Living Arrangements and Social Networks of Older Adults

Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Living Arrangements and Social Networks of Older Adults

Article excerpt

This is the first of several monographs that report the results of the NESTOR-LSN program designed to study living arrangements and social networks from the perspective of more than 4,000 Dutch adults, aged 54-89. The book includes data on subjective well-being and an appendix containing a description of the sampling method and data-collection procedures.

This is a valuable book for family scholars. Besides presenting a wealth of descriptive data on Dutch family structures and functions in later life, it provides a rich context, theoretically and empirically based, in which to conceptualize family relationships. The text provides a clear picture of the social world of older adults, its predictors, and its consequences for subjective well-being and the place of family relationships within it. Refreshingly, "family" is not limited to marriage and parent-child ties; partners, siblings, and others are included. Also, no matter how inexperienced family readers might be with network research, they will come away from this reading with a thorough knowledge of how the study was engineered. Further, this volume sets a standard for excellent scholarship, easily digested dissemination of results, and, incidentally, provides a tidy summary of the literature on social networks.

Description is not highly prized in American social science research. This monograph should dispel any biases against such efforts. …

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