Social support promoting health in older women

Nelma Shearer, Julie Fleury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Given the aging of women and their increased risk for health problems, it is important to explicate factors that may foster health promotion. While social support has been a concept of interest in predicting health promotion in women, the concept has been inconsistently defined and poorly explicated. A qualitative study was conducted to describe the types and processes of social support for health promotion in older women. Focus group interviews with 51 women, aged 55-93, were held. Data were analyzed using open coding to categorize data with attention to consistency and variance. Data explicated aspects of social support unique to health promotion in community-dwelling older women. Broad categories identified included connectedness and collectivism. Findings validate existing conceptualizations and provide an expanded perspective of social support by demonstrating aspects of support unique to the social context of older, community-dwelling women. Findings also provide a basis for development of socially relevant interventions designed to promote health and optimize health outcomes in older women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Women and Aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 14 2006


  • Community health
  • Health promotion
  • Naturalistic research
  • Older women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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