The Effects of Neighborhood Disadvantage and Instability on Donated and Received Social Support: Examining Gender- and Race-Contingent Patterns among Older Adults

Scott Schieman, University of Maryland

Does neighborhood disadvantage and instability influence donated and received social support? If so, are there gender- and race-contingent patterns? The social disorganization hypothesis predicts that disadvantage and instability diminish social support; the stress mobilization hypothesis predicts that they are associated with higher levels of social support. I also expect the mobilization predictions to be most apparent among black women. Results about the effects of disadvantage concur with the mobilization thesis for black women and the disorganization thesis for whites--although the effects on donated support are stronger among white men and the effects on received support are stronger among white women. In contrast, neighborhood instability is associated negatively with received and donated support among blacks only. I discuss the implications of these findings for theories about community-level effects on social relationships.

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Presented in Session 48: Race, Gender, Aging, and Health