Social network type and health-related behaviors: Evidence from an American national survey

Sharon Shiovitz-Ezra*, Howard Litwin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


This study examined the association between social network type and engagement in physical activity, alcohol abuse and use of complementary and alternative medicine by older Americans. Data from the National Social Life, Health & Aging Project were employed. Multivariate logistic regressions conducted separately for each health behavior showed that older people embedded in less resourceful network types were at greater risk for alcohol abuse, physical inactivity and less use of complementary and alternative medicine, net of the effects of sociodemographic characteristics, health, and the quality of the social relationships. The study underscores the importance of the construct of social network type for understanding healthy lifestyle in late life.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)901-904
Number of pages4
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
NSHAP is supported by the National Institute on Aging , Office of Women's Health Research , Office of AIDS Research , and Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research ( 5R01AG021487 ).


  • Alcohol abuse
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Loneliness
  • Network type
  • Physical activity
  • U.S.A


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