Section: Network Science
Topic: Psychological and cognitive sciences, Applied mathematics, Health sciences

The Complexity of Social Networks in Healthy Aging: Novel Metrics and Their Associations with Psychological Well-Being

10.24072/pcjournal.388 - Peer Community Journal, Volume 4 (2024), article no. e23.

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Social networks play a crucial role in promoting healthy aging, yet the intricate mechanisms connecting social capital to health present a complex challenge. Additionally, the majority of social network analysis studies focusing on older adults typically concentrate on the participants' individual relationships, often overlooking the interconnections between these relationships. In this study, we went further than current ego-centered network studies by determining global social network metrics and the structure of relationships among older adult participants of the RECORD Cohort using the Veritas-Social questionnaire. The aim of this study is to identify key dimensions of social networks of older adults, and to evaluate how these dimensions relate to depressive symptoms, life satisfaction, and well-being. Using Principal Component Analyses (PCA), we identified four social network dimensions with psychological meanings. Dimension 1 (homophily) was positively linked with perceived accessibility to services in one’s residential neighborhood but this same dimension was negatively linked with the level of study (i.e., Bachelor, Master, PhD, etc.). Dimension 2 (social integration) and Dimension 3 (social support) were only linked to the number of people living (being in the same residence) with ego (i.e. the interviewed participant). Dimension 4 was linked with perceived accessibility to local services. Finally, and rather surprisingly, we found that none of the four network dimensions, even the degree, were linked to the three health status metrics.

Published online:
DOI: 10.24072/pcjournal.388
Type: Research article
Sueur, Cédric 1; Fancello, Giovanna 2; Naud, Alexandre 1; Kestens, Yan 3; Chaix, Basile 2

1 UMR 7178, CNRS, Unistra, Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien, Strasbourg, France
2 Sorbonne Université, INSERM, Institut Pierre Louis d’Épidémiologie et de Santé Publique, Nemesis research team, F75012, Paris, France
3 Université de Montréal/Centre de Recherche du CHUM, Pavillon S, 850 Rue St-Denis, Montréal, QC, H2X 0A9, Canada
License: CC-BY 4.0
Copyrights: The authors retain unrestricted copyrights and publishing rights
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Sueur, Cédric; Fancello, Giovanna; Naud, Alexandre; Kestens, Yan; Chaix, Basile. The Complexity of Social Networks in Healthy Aging: Novel Metrics and Their Associations with Psychological Well-Being. Peer Community Journal, Volume 4 (2024), article  no. e23. doi : 10.24072/pcjournal.388.

Peer reviewed and recommended by PCI : 10.24072/pci.networksci.100112

Conflict of interest of the recommender and peer reviewers:
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article.

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