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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 1996 Sep;51(5):P268-78.

The importance of friendship and family support in adaptation to chronic vision impairment.

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The Lighthouse Inc., Arlene R. Gordon Research Institute, New York, USA.


The importance of friendship and family support in adaptation for 241 elders experiencing age-related vision loss was examined. Adaptation was operationalized with two global measures of psychological well-being (life satisfaction, depressive symptoms) and a domain-specific measure, adaptation to vision loss. Hierarchical regression analyses tested the effects of sociodemographic, vision, health, and functional disability variables in the first step, family support quality in the second step, and friendship support quality in the third step. Variables entered at each step contributed significant portions of explained variance in outcome variables. Thus, the importance of friendship support, independent of family support, in adaptation to chronic impairment was demonstrated. The effect of relationship type and gender on multiple support components was also assessed. Scores for family support were higher than those for friend support on almost all components. Close relationships were perceived as providing greater attachment in females and greater instrumental assistance and social integration in males.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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