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Subjective Memory Problems and Availability of Emotional Support

Jung-Hwa Ha ] Department of Social Welfare, Seoul National University

Manacy Pai ] Department of Sociology, Kent State University


This study examines (1) whether subjective memory problems (SMP) influence perceived emotional support from and frequency of contact with family and friends; and, (2) the extent to which this relationship is moderated by gender, education, and functional limitations. We use the 2014 wave of the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative panel survey of adults aged 51 and over in the United States. While SMP does not affect perceived emotional support for younger group (YG; aged 51–64), in older group (OG; aged 65þ), SMP is associated with reduced perceived support from friends. Also, SMP is predictive of fewer writing-based contact with children and friends among OG but not among YG. Lastly, we find that the effect of SMP on support from children is contingent upon activity of daily living (YG) and gender (OG), while the effect of SMP on writing-based

contact with both children and friends is contingent upon education (YG only).

Keywords : subjective memory problems, emotional support, gender, education, functional limitations

Research on Aging 2018, Vol. 40(10) 978–1007

DOI: 10.1177/0164027518797622

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