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Introduction Understanding social networks is essential for gerontological research.

Theoretical Background Social networks can be incorporated in a variety of theoretical frameworks, including social capital theory. Family Relations and Community Involvement There has been a number of studies that examined relationships between family and community involvement and social networks in the general population.

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Identity Disclosure A unique feature in the lives of LGBT adults is identity disclosure to others in their everyday life. Based on social capital theory, we will test the following hypotheses: Design and Methods Data Collection The study was conducted through a collaboration with 11 community agencies from different regions of the United States, including some agencies that were LGBT specific and some that were serving older adults in general.

Measures Egocentric group-specific social network data The study asked about social acquaintances inside and outside the LGBT communities, including relationships with friends, colleagues, family members, and neighbors as reported by the respondent. Open in a separate window. Figure 1. Social network size We develop a modified summation index to estimate the network size of LGBT individuals. Network diversity as an indicator of network bridging potential In the context of this article, for the purposes of concise exposition, we will refer to transgender adults as T, and to nontransgender lesbian, nontransgender gay men, and nontransgender bisexual groups as simply L, G, and B, respectively.

Background characteristic Sexual identity was measured by asking participants to self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual or straight, and other. Analysis We begin with a descriptive analysis of the social networks size and diversity. Results Network information was available for 1, individuals, of whom there were lesbian nontransgender women, gay nontransgender men, 94 bisexual nontransgender men and women, and transgender men and women.

Figure 2. Results From Multiple Regression Analysis We performed multiple regression analyses for two outcome variables: Discussion Although there is increasing attention to health disparities among LGBT people Institute of Medicine, and emerging evidence suggests that the size of social network is associated with better health among LGBT older adults Fredriksen-Goldsen et al. References Agresti A. Categorical data analysis. New York, NY: Wiley-Interscience; Social networks among men and women: The effects of age and socioeconomic status.

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Brokerage and closure: An introduction to social capital. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press; Older gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender persons. Berkman B, editor. The handbook of social work in health and aging. Multivariate imputation by chained equations in R. Journal of Statistical Software. Social isolation and health, with an emphasis on underlying mechanisms.

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Caregiving with pride. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press; The physical and mental health of transgender older adults: An at-risk and underserved population. The Gerontologist. The physical and mental health of lesbian, gay male, and bisexual LGB older adults: The role of key health indicators and risk and protective factors. The aging and health report: Disparities and resilience among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and transgender older adults.

Seattle, WA: Institute for Multigenerational Health; Successful aging among LGBT older adults: Physical and mental health-related quality of life by age group. Centrality in social networks conceptual clarification. Respondent-driven sampling: An assessment of current methodology. Sociological Methodology. Neighborhoods, aging, and functiona l limitations. Kawachi I, Berkman LF, editors. Neighborhoods and health.

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