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Title:Exploring older men's social lives and well-being in the context of a coffee group
Author(s):Broughton, Katherine
Director of Research:Payne, Laura L.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Payne, Laura L.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Shinew, Kimberly J.; Harvey, Idethia S.; Schwingel, Andiara
Department / Program:Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Discipline:Recreation, Sport, and Tourism
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):older adults
successful aging
social support
health and well-being
socioemotional selectivity theory
Abstract:With a longer life expectancy and being a large portion of the population, older adults will have a major effect on society and it will be important for them to age successfully. Leisure and social support has been confirmed to assist in the process of successful, healthy aging. This specific cohort of the population is growing in size and men are living longer. Moreover, social leisure issues related to older men have not been extensively studied. Through participant observations and interviews I gained a better understanding of how social environments, activities and relationships can affect healthy aging. As shown in this study, participating in a coffee group is beneficial to their health and well-being. These men also identified that their coffee group buddies are a part of their social networks through the social convoy model (Kahn & Antonucci,1980). The men in this study expressed meaningful levels and types (i.e., emotional, informational, instrumental, appraisal) of social support exchanged while participating in the men’s coffee groups. Through their stories and examples these men also demonstrated the presence of the buffering and direct effects models of social support, indicating some of the ways social engagement promotes health. They also conveyed that the coffee group was fun, facilitated a sense of belonging, and served an important role in their daily lives. These findings begin to fill the gap in our understanding of older men’s social lives and how participation in a men’s coffee group affects emotional and social health. In addition, this finding suggests that the older group has not replaced their peripheral relationships and is concentrating on their closer relationships which supports the tenets of socioemotional selectivity theory (Carstenson et al., 2003) This group provides the men with a meaningful and effective way to engage in life, thus positively affecting their health and well-being. The coffee groups served as one strategy these men used to maintain involvement in social relationships and connect to the larger community. Considering the numerous emotional and social benefits they described from their participation, it appears they are aging successfully according to Rowe & Kahn’s (1998) criteria.
Issue Date:2013-02-03
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Katherine Anne Broughton
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-02-03
Date Deposited:2012-12

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