Theories of support to older adults have variously emphasized preferences and constraints in the support-seeking process. An influential theory emphasizing preferences for support and care was advanced by Cantor (1979) in her hierarchical-compensatory model of social supports, which posits an ordered selection of caregivers that starts with spouses, daughters, and sons, then extends to more distant family members, friends, and neighbors. This perspective countered competing perspectives seeking to understand the social principles underlying the organization of informal support. For instance, Litwak's (1985) task-specific model emphasized mixed functions among network members who provide specialized types of support based on their emotional connection, geographic proximity, and level of commitment to the care recipient. While not entirely antagonistic, these two theories reflect the tension between the importance of preferences and structured differentiation in the support choices made by older adults and their social network members.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Later-Life Social Support and Service Provision in Diverse and Vulnerable Populations|
|Subtitle of host publication||Understanding Networks of Care|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2017|
ASJC Scopus subject areas