The purpose of this paper is to provide an empirical analysis of factors that affect support networks among retirees in 13 countries.
It examines two propositions drawing from support network theory and the classification of countries by welfare systems. It uses fixed‐effect causal models to examine how retirement and socio‐demographic variables influence kinship and friendship support networks. Data are drawn from the Social Relations and Support Systems module of the International Social Survey Programme 2001.
The results show that retirees' friendship‐based support networks are almost one‐third smaller than those of working persons. Furthermore, this difference is greater in welfare systems that spend more on social well‐being.
However, the relationship between informal support networks and welfare systems is complex, which indicates a need to further the debate on the co‐existence of formal and informal aid systems.
This study's main sociological confirmation is that the relationship between the size of support networks and the type of welfare system is irregular and complex. The results make a significant contribution to the debate on the relationship between formal and informal care among a group of people during a critical life‐cycle phase, such as retirement.
Requena, F. (2013), "Family and friendship support networks among retirees: A comparative study of welfare systems", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 33 No. 3/4, pp. 167-185. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443331311308221Download as .RIS
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