The association of family support and wellbeing in later life depends on adult attachment style

E.-M. Merz, N.S. Consedine

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The current study examines the association between family support and wellbeing in the elderly, paying particular attention to the possible moderating role of attachment style. Data from a community-dwelling, ethnically diverse, elderly sample (N ¼ 1118) were analyzed to determine the best linear combination of emotional support, instrumental support, and attachment styles predicting wellbeing. Emotional support generally was associated with higher wellbeing whereas instrumental support was related to decreased wellbeing. As expected, however, these associations were qualified by attachment style. Receiving emotional support had stronger positive and instrumental support less negative effects on the wellbeing of elderly individuals with higher attachment security. Given increased longevity, family networks may become important sources of support for the elderly. Work detailing when, how, and for whom particular types of family support are beneficial is a key agenda within developmental psychology and social gerontology. Keywords: support from kin; adult attachment style; old age; affect balance The current study examines the association between family support and wellbeing in the elderly, paying particular attention to the possible moderating role of attachment style. Data from a community-dwelling, ethnically diverse, elderly sample (N ¼ 1118) were analyzed to determine the best linear combination of emotional support, instrumental support, and attachment styles predicting wellbeing. Emotional support generally was associated with higher wellbeing whereas instrumental support was related to decreased wellbeing. As expected, however, these associations were qualified by attachment style. Receiving emotional support had stronger positive and instrumental support less negative effects on the wellbeing of elderly individuals with higher attachment security. Given increased longevity, family networks may become important sources of support for the elderly. Work detailing when, how, and for whom particular types of family support are beneficial is a key agenda within developmental psychology and social gerontology. Keywords: support from kin; adult attachment style; old age; affect balance
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-221
JournalAttachment & Human Development
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The association of family support and wellbeing in later life depends on adult attachment style'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this