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Subjective norms toward social support among Japanese American elderly in New York City: Why help does not always help

TitleSubjective norms toward social support among Japanese American elderly in New York City: Why help does not always help
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsNemoto, T
JournalJournal of Community PsychologyJournal of Community Psychology
Date PublishedJul
ISBN Number0090-4392<br/>1520-6629
Accession NumberPeer Reviewed Journal: 1998-04271-001
Keywords*Japanese Cultural Groups, *Social Norms, *Social Support, *Well Being, Culture & Ethnology [2930], Gerontology [2860], Human Adulthood (18 yrs & older) Aged (65 yrs & older), subjective norms toward social support, psychological well being, Japanese American elderly, us
AbstractInvestigated the interaction effects between social support and subjective norms toward mobilizing and reciprocating social support on the psychological well-being among Japanese American elderly. A sample of 111 Japanese American elderly (mean age 74 yrs) who resided in the New York City metropolitan area were interviewed using a structured survey questionnaire. The study revealed several significant interaction effects between norms and social support. Japanese American elderly who had strong norms toward reciprocating support did not receive the full benefit of social support because of the negative impact of norms of reciprocity. Elderly who had received material support from family and had strong norms toward reciprocity were more depressed, showed more symptoms of aging, and were less satisfied with their lives than those elderly who did not have strong norms of reciprocity. These findings suggest that cultural norms toward mobilizing certain types and sources of social support, and norms toward reciprocity of social support must be considered when investigating social support. Interventions to increase social support may have a negative effect on psychological well-being when recipients have strong norms toward reciprocating the support, but lack resources to do so. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
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