Emotional Confidants in Ethnic Communities: Social Network Analysis of Korean American Older Adults

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Asians, social factors, mental health, physical function

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Objective: Ethnic communities often serve as the primary source of emotional support for older immigrants. This study aims to identify individuals who are more likely to be nominated as emotional confidants by age peers in the ethnic community and to examine factors contributing to the likelihood of being a more frequently endorsed confidant.

Method: Data were drawn from a survey with 675 older Korean Americans. Using the name-generator approach in Social Network Analysis (SNA), participants were asked to list the names of three emotional confidants among age peers in the community.

Results: A higher level of popularity (i.e., in-degree centrality) was predicted by male gender, advanced education, lower functional disability, fewer symptoms of depression, and higher levels of participation in social activities.

Discussion: Our findings suggest the value of SNA as a means of identifying the key emotional confidants in the community and utilizing them in community-based interventions.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Aging and Health, v. 28, issue 2, p. 324-340