Social Interactions and Aging

A special issue of Behavioral Sciences (ISSN 2076-328X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 September 2024 | Viewed by 1439

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Gerontology, University of Haifa, Haifa 3498838, Israel
Interests: gerontology; social relationships; couples; intergenerational relationships; loneliness; positive solitude

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A large body of literature documents the importance of social interactions throughout the life-course. A special emphasis should be placed on the role that social interactions (or a lack of them) play in midlife and older adulthood. Social interactions are an invaluable source of emotional and instrumental support and are associated with cognitive function, physical, and mental health. The global pandemic and the restrictions on social gatherings that followed have made the subject of social relationships stand out as a main pivot for both research and popular media, and loneliness was described as another ‘pandemic’.

This Special Issue sets to focus on innovative research focusing on the unique role of social interactions in the second half of life. These include exploration of the role that social interactions play in older adults’ lives, with a focus on physical, mental, and social health, family relationships, and friendships, on the one hand, and loneliness and social isolation on the other hand.

Dr. Dikla Segel-Karpas
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Behavioral Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • social support
  • social interaction
  • marital relationships
  • couples
  • intergenerational relationships
  • loneliness
  • social isolation
  • aging
  • older adults
  • midlife
  • conflict

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 221 KiB  
Article
The Way Older Childless Women Value Their Life—A Qualitative Study
by Tom Boker Gonen, Yaacov G. Bachner and Vered Slonim-Nevo
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(5), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14050418 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 346
Abstract
Older women without children, like all older adults, evaluate their lives and face a conflict between despair and ego integrity as proposed by Erikson’s theory of development. Their uniqueness lies in their deviation from the societal norm of parenthood prevalent in pro-natalist societies [...] Read more.
Older women without children, like all older adults, evaluate their lives and face a conflict between despair and ego integrity as proposed by Erikson’s theory of development. Their uniqueness lies in their deviation from the societal norm of parenthood prevalent in pro-natalist societies such as Israel. This study aims to explore how older childless women evaluate their lives. Using a qualitative approach, 20 semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with women over 60 years of age who do not have children. Three main themes emerged from the participants’ responses: their experiences as women without children in a pro-natalist society, the significance of freedom in their lives, and their life experiences from conflicting perspectives—an internal and external locus of control. The study’s findings demonstrate that older childless women adeptly utilize different perspectives across various aspects of their lives, contributing to ego integrity, contrary to the prevailing societal notion that in the absence of children, women are damaged and lack identity. It is conceivable that other segments of the older adult population, diverging from mainstream societal norms, may similarly leverage these different perspectives to uphold their ego. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Interactions and Aging)
14 pages, 1587 KiB  
Article
Links between Couples’ Cynical Hostility and Mental Health: A Dyadic Investigation of Older Couples
by Dikla Segel-Karpas, Roi Estlein and Ashley E. Ermer
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14040283 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 651
Abstract
Whereas sharing a life with someone with high cynical hostility can be straining, little is known about how partner’s cynical hostility is associated with one’s mental health. In this paper, we report the findings from a longitudinal dyadic study using two waves of [...] Read more.
Whereas sharing a life with someone with high cynical hostility can be straining, little is known about how partner’s cynical hostility is associated with one’s mental health. In this paper, we report the findings from a longitudinal dyadic study using two waves of a large and representative American sample of older adults and their spouses to examine how one’s own and their spouse’s cynical hostility longitudinally affect anxiety and depressive symptoms. Results from APIM analyses suggest that both husbands’ and wives’ anxiety and depressive symptoms were negatively associated with their own cynical hostility, both within each time point and longitudinally. Partners’ cynical hostility, however, predicted only husbands’ mental health cross-sectionally. Furthermore, a moderating effect was identified, although it was not consistently observed across all analyses. Specifically, when a partner’s cynical hostility was high, the association between one’s own cynical hostility and their mental health was stronger, especially for women. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Interactions and Aging)
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