Role of social network on life satisfaction among older persons in Delhi, India: A structural equation modelling

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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The percentage of older persons in India is projected to rise to 11 percent of the total population by 2025 and to 19 percent by 2050. Available literature suggests that life satisfaction of older persons depends extensively on their social network. Young people in urban areas have a busy lifestyle and little time for older family members. The present study aims to explore the role of social networking and the support from these networks on life satisfaction of the older people in India. Primary data from 530 households were collected between November 2014 and March 2015. Descriptive statistics, chi square test and Berkman’s theoretical model were partially used. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was applied to examine the association between the social network and life satisfaction, arbitrated by different types of social support. Different types of social network act differently on the perception of life satisfaction among the older person. Findings show that networks with family, neighbours, friends and close ones were significantly associated with life satisfaction of the older people in urban area. Support derived from different social networks is important for life satisfaction at later ages. Having a strong confidant social network is significant in promoting life satisfaction among older persons. The main characteristic of this network support is trust between the support provider and old people.