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J Gerontol. 1992 Sep;47(5):P300-11.

Providing support to others and well-being in later life.

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  • 1Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-2029.


Although there is now a voluminous literature on supportive social relations in later life, most of this research has been concerned with assessing the beneficial effects of receiving support from others. The purpose of this study is to assess whether giving support to others within informal as well as formal settings might also benefit older help-providers. Findings from a recent nationwide survey of the elderly suggest that giving informal assistance to others (but not formal assistance) appears to bolster feelings of personal control in later life. The data further reveal that greater feelings of personal control are in turn related to lower levels of depressive symptomatology.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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