Comparing Old and Young Adults as They Cope with Life Transitions: The Links between Social Network Management Skills and Attachment Style to Depression Journal Article


Authors: Gillath, Omri; Johnson, David; Selcuk, Emre; Teel, Cynthia
Article Title: Comparing Old and Young Adults as They Cope with Life Transitions: The Links between Social Network Management Skills and Attachment Style to Depression
Alternate Title: Clinical Gerontologist
Keywords: Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Female; Male; Age Factors; Adaptation, Psychological; Psychological Tests; Life Change Events; Educational Status; Young Adult; Depression; Social Behavior; Coefficient Alpha; Descriptive Statistics; Human; Summated Rating Scaling; Scales; Comparative Studies; Middle Age; Funding Source; Adolescence; Coping; Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale; Caregivers -- Psychosocial Factors; Attitude Measures; Checklists; Social Networks; Linear Regression
Journal Title: Clinical Gerontologist
Volume: 34
Issue: 3
ISSN: 0731-7115
Publisher: Unknown  
Date Published: 2011
Start Page: 251
End Page: 265
DOI/URL:
Notes: Smaller social networks are associated with poorer health and well-being, especially as people negotiate life transitions. Many older adults, however, tend to have smaller networks, without the expected negative outcomes. To understand better how older adults avoid such outcomes we measured social network management skills, attachment style, and depression among individuals going through a life transition. Older adults who recently became caregivers were compared with young adults who recently transitioned to college. Although older adults initiated fewer and terminated more social ties (being selective in their choice of network members), both age groups had an equal number of close network members. A closer look revealed that securely attached older adults maintained their social ties, and in turn, sustained low levels of depression. These findings emphasize the importance of attachment style and network skills to mental health in general, and among older adults specifically.
KUMC Authors
  1. Cynthia Teel
    25 Teel