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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2004 Mar;59(2):S89-97.

Neighborhood problems and health among older adults: received and donated social support and the sense of mastery as effect modifiers.

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  • 1Department of Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 21742-1315, USA. sschieman@socy.umd.edu



This study examines the associations between perceived neighborhood problems and mental and physical health, exploring the extent to which received social support, donated social support, and the sense of mastery moderate those associations.


In 2001-2002, face-to-face interviews were conducted with a sample of 1,167 adults over age 65 in several counties in Maryland and the District of Columbia.


For men, received support and perceived mastery buffer against the detrimental effects of neighborhood problems on anger. In contrast, donated support exacerbates the negative physical health effects of neighborhood problems. For women, donated support amplifies the effects of neighborhood problems on anger. However, with anger and depression, the buffering effects of received support become evident only after accounting for the interaction between neighborhood problems and donated support.


The findings have implications for the stress process model, the theoretical perspectives on different forms of social support, and the "buffering" and "cost of caring" predictions for women and men.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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