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Social networks and residential mobility in later life: the effects of moving on social network supportive capacity amongst older people in the UK -PhD thesis-


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This is an interdisciplinary PhD research project, spanning the ESRC
Centre for Population Change and the Centre for Research on Ageing.
Using British Household Panel Survey data, the thesis aims to prove that
undertaking a residential move changes the supportive capacity of one’s
social network in later life. The study first investigates the
determinants of moving home in later life. It then conceptualises and
constructs the social networks of older people in the UK, considering
key attributes such as network size, frequency, proximity and functions
and examines the effects of moving home on these measures. The analysis
finds that the incidence of residential mobility is associated with,
amongst other things, becoming widowed and experiencing a negative
change in health or financial circumstance. Furthermore older people are
likely to experience disruption to the supportive capacity of their
companionship and community networks following a move. This research has
important implications for policy as any damaging effects on an older
person’s informal support network may have consequences for their health
outcomes and in turn lead to an increased dependence on formal health
and social care services at the places to which they move.


Older People, Social Networks, Well Being, Health, and Housing Market



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