Publications

The authors present and discuss their latest academic findings from the extensive research carried out at the Department of Sociology in articles in national and international journals, books, contributions in edited volumes, working papers, etc.

Close Social Networks Among Older Adults: The Online and Offline Perspectives

Author(s)
Sofia Gil-Clavel, Emilio Zagheni, Valeria Bordone
Abstract

Qualitative studies have found that the use of Information and Communication Technologies is related to an enhanced quality of life for older adults, as these technologies might act as a medium to access social capital regardless of geographical distance. In order to quantitatively study the association between older people’s characteristics and the likelihood of having a network of close friends offline and online, we use data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe and data from Facebook. Using a novel approach to analyze aggregated and anonymous Facebook data within a regression framework, we show that the associations between having close friends and age, sex, and being a parent are the same offline and online. Migrants who use internet are less likely to have close friends offline, but migrants who are Facebook users are more likely to have close friends online, suggesting that digital relationships may compensate for the potential lack of offline close friendships among older migrants.

Organisation(s)
Department of Sociology
External organisation(s)
Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung, University of Groningen
Journal
Population Research and Policy Review
Volume
41
Pages
1111-1135
No. of pages
25
ISSN
0167-5923
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11113-021-09682-3
Publication date
2021
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
504006 Demography, 504001 General sociology, 102035 Data science, 509005 Gerontology
Keywords
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Demography, Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/close-social-networks-among-older-adults-the-online-and-offline-perspectives(9c2e5061-7de2-4fa8-975a-c5d2b9b5eec9).html