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Social Resource Variations Among LGBT Middle-Aged and Older Adults: The Intersections of Sociodemographic Characteristics

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Issue Date
2022-11
Publisher
Gerontological Society of America
Citation
The Gerontologist, Vol.62 No.9, pp.1324-1335
Abstract
Background and Objectives Understanding the influence of social resources on health is crucial in gerontological research. However, access to social resources may differ by one's particular lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) identity and the intersection of LGBT identity with other sociodemographic characteristics, including age. Research Design and Methods Using 2010 data from Caring and Aging With Pride (N = 2,536), this study examined how access to social resources varied by LGBT identity and whether the effect of LGBT identity was modified by additional sociodemographic characteristics among LGBT adults aged 50-95 years. Results Lesbian respondents had larger social networks than gay male respondents, and gay male respondents had smaller networks than transgender respondents. Lesbian respondents reported more social support and community belonging than other identity groups. Bisexual male respondents and transgender respondents had less support than gay male respondents, and bisexual male respondents reported less community belonging than gay male respondents. Age and education moderated the association between LGBT identity and social support. Discussion and Implications This study demonstrated differences in access to social resources according to environmental circumstances that can intersect and govern access to social resources. Findings highlight the importance of considering social support separately from social network size; thus, large social networks do not necessarily provide ample social support. LGBT older adults had different perceptions of social support than their middle-aged counterparts. Health and human service professionals should not only consider the sexual and gender identity of their LGBT clients, but also education and age when assessing access to social resources.
ISSN
0016-9013
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/187255
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College of Human Ecology (생활과학대학)Dept. of Child Development and Family Studies (아동가족학과)Journal Papers (저널논문_아동가족학과)
College of Human Ecology (생활과학대학)Dept. of Child Development and Family Studies (아동가족학과)Journal Papers (저널논문_아동가족학과)
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