Dissertation Abstracts

Dynamic Social Capital and Subjective Well-Being throughout Late Life

Author: Spalter, Tal , talspalt@gmail.com
Department: Sociology
University: Tel Aviv, Israel
Supervisor: Noah Lewin-Epstein
Year of completion: 2012
Language of dissertation: Hebrew

Keywords: Social Capital , Well being , life course , Aging
Areas of Research: Social Indicators


This dissertation's objectives were 1) to create a typology of Israeli older adults’ social capital, 2) to study patterns of continuity and change among these types as a function of late life transitions and 3) to measure their influences on subjective well-being. Two phases from the Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Aging Study were used, with a random sample (N=687) of the older Jewish population. Findings reveal that there are five types of social capital. Two were classified as solid while the other three were classified as weak social capital. Over time, four patterns emerged: continuity in solid or weak social capital and shift to a better or worse form of social capital. Moving into a nursing home, volunteering, and participating in leisure activities increased the likelihood of a shift to a better social capital and the chance of continuity in solid social capital. Both continuity in solid social capital and shifting to higher quality social capital have a positive influence on subjective well-being along time. We conclude that being active and changing one's place of residence positively impact patterns of continuity and change in social capital, which in turn, have a positive influence on senior adults' wellbeing.

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