Ann Geriatr Med Res.  2016 Sep;20(3):149-159. 10.4235/agmr.2016.20.3.149.

Self-rated Health and Global Network Position: Results From the Older Adult Population of a Korean Rural Village

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Sociology, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea. yoosik@yonsei.ac.kr

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Since the mid-20th century, the ways in which social networks and older adults' health are related have been widely studied. However, few studies investigate the relationship between self-rated health and position in a complete social network of one entire Korean rural village. This study highlights use of a complete network in health studies.
METHODS
Using the Korean Social Life and Health Project, the population-based data of adults aged 60 or older and their spouses in one myeon in Ganghwa island (Ganghwa-gun, Incheon, Korea), Incheon, Korea (with a 95% response rate), this study built a 1,012×1,012 complete social network matrix of the village. The data were collected from 2011 to 2012, and 731 older adults were analyzed. The ordered logistic models to predict self-rated health allowed us to examine social factors from socio-demographic to individual community activities, ego-centered network characteristics, and positions in a complete network.
RESULTS
From the network data, 5 network components were identified. Even after controlling for all other factors, if a respondent belonged to a segregated component, the probability that he or she reported good health dropped substantially. Additionally, high in-degree centrality was connected to greater self-rated health.
CONCLUSION
This finding highlights the importance of social position not only from the respondents' point of view but also from the entire village's perspective. Even if a respondent maintained a large social network, when all of those social ties belonged to a segregated group in the village, the respondent's health suffered from this segregation.

Keyword

Social network; Subjective health; Complete network
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