Social Work Faculty Publications
Informal vs. Formal Support Networks Among the Elderly and the Role of Religion
Social Work and Christianity
This study was conducted to examine how older adults use informal and formal support systems based in a predominantly rural community. A random sample (n=262) of older adults was surveyed from a county in Northwestern Ohio. In addition, the role of religiosity was explored as a factor in utilization of support systems. Data from this study indicated that older adults have and use extensive informal support networks to maintain and enhance their social functioning. Religiosity was found to significantly influence the extent and use of informal support networks. However, it was not found to be a significant influence informal support networks. The findings suggest implications for social work practitioners, church leaders, and religious laypeople. Recommendations for future research also are discussed.
Elderly, formal, informal, networks, religiosity, support
Sherr, Michael E.; Shields, Glenn; King, William; and Curran, Mary A., "Informal vs. Formal Support Networks Among the Elderly and the Role of Religion" (2005). Social Work Faculty Publications. 56.