Do the companionship and community networks of older LGBT adults compensate for weaker kinship networks?
This paper compares the supportive capacity of social networks of older LGBT and heterosexual adults using data from Understanding Society. The principal research objective is to discern whether the companionship and community networks of older LGBT adults compensate for weaker kinship networks.
Understanding Society has data on the frequency of interaction with and proximity to family, friends and the wider community to quantify supportive capacity. Bivariate analyses reveal similarities and differences in network supportive capacity between older LGBT and heterosexual adults.
The study finds that older LGBT adults have significantly weaker kinship networks than do older heterosexual adults. Further to this, the companionship and community networks of older LGBT adults do not compensate for weaker kinship networks.
This study contributes evidence to an underresearched area of social network analysis. Little research has explored the social networks of older LGBT adults compared with older heterosexual adults; specifically the supportive network capacity of different types of network.
Volume and page numbers17, 36-49