Toni Antonucci

Developmental Psychology

37.16

Publications

  • Heather R. Fuller-Iglesias · Toni C. Antonucci
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    ABSTRACT: Familism, is a cultural value considered to be central to Mexican culture. Older generations are thought to more strongly adhere to familistic values; however, little is known about the implications of familism in late-life. The goal of the current study was to examine links between familism, social network characteristics, and well-being among Mexican older adults. A sample of 556 older adults (50–99 years old) was drawn from the Study of Social Relations and Well-being in Mexico. Various aspects of social network characteristics and familism varied by age, gender, and education status. Familism was correlated with contact frequency and geographic proximity, but not proportion of family in network. Regression analyses indicated higher familism was associated with better psychological and physical well-being, yet familism interacted with proportion of family to predict both self-rated health and chronic conditions indicating that a discrepancy between familistic values and actual family support may be detrimental for older Mexicans’ physical health. The discussion highlights the complex interrelationships and potential protective effects of familism. Future research should continue to examine the implications of familism and family relationships in the Mexican context; in particular, how generational shifts in familism influence intergenerational relations and well-being.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
  • Toni C. Antonucci
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    ABSTRACT: The author proposes that interdisciplinarity and respectful team science become the norm for studying human development. This is not as simple a wish as it may seem because we tend to be trained in a single discipline. We tend to know much less about the theory, methods, and findings of other disciplines. We often respect them less and minimize their contributions. It is now abundantly clear, however, that humans develop on multiple levels. Human development occurs from neurons to neighborhoods, cells to societies, and genes to geography. It is fundamentally evident that every level influences the others and all combine to constitute human development. Although we may specialize, certainly a reasonable personal choice, it is critical to recognize and respect the contributions of other disciplines to the study of human development. This may best be achieved by recognizing the contributions of other disciplines and working in multidisciplinary teams.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Research in Human Development
  • BORIN KIM · SOJUNG PARK · TONI C. ANTONUCCI
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigates the changes in social network types among older adults in South Korea, and it examines whether, and to what extent, these changes influence their health and psychological wellbeing. Data were obtained from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Ageing. The sample was restricted to respondents over 65 years of age who participated in both the 2006 and 2008 surveys (N = 3,501). The social network types for both years were derived by Latent Class Analysis. Changes in network types over time were then identified. A series of multivariate regression analyses were conducted to examine the effects of social network changes on self-rated health, depressive symptoms and life satisfaction. Restricted, Family, Friend and Diverse network types were derived in each wave of the study. Although the direction of social network changes was not always towards the Restricted type, the Restricted network was the most prevalent and stable type among older Koreans. Older adults who remained in or transitioned to restricted types of social networks were more likely to have poor self-rated health, higher levels of depressive symptoms and lower levels of life satisfaction. This study adds to the limited body of literature on longitudinal network typology, and it expands the knowledge of social network types among older adults in diverse social and cultural contexts.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Ageing and Society
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    ABSTRACT: The intergenerational stake hypothesis suggests that parents are more invested in their children and experience better quality parent–child ties than do their children. In this study the authors examined variation in reports of relationship quality regarding parents and children intra-individually (do people report better quality ties with their children than with their parents?) and whether within-person variations have implications for well-being. Participants age 40–60 (N = 633) reported on their relationship quality (importance, positive quality, and negative quality) with their parents and adult children. Individuals reported their relationships with children were more important and more negative than relationships with parents. Individuals with feelings that were in the opposite direction of the intergenerational stake hypothesis (i.e., greater investment in parents than children) reported poorer well-being. The findings provide support for the intergenerational stake hypothesis with regard to within-person variations in investment and show that negative relationship quality may coincide with greater feelings of investment.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Marriage and Family
  • Kristine J Ajrouch · Sawsan Abdulrahim · Toni C Antonucci
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    ABSTRACT: The link between family relations and well-being in old age has received ample attention in the international literature, but remains least examined in the Arab region where cultural ideals assume positive intergenerational relations within families as the norm. In this paper, we employ survey data collected in Greater Beirut in 2009 to explore associations between family relations and health. over the life course. We tested (1) the extent to which age and social relation characteristics predict health; and (2) whether the association between age and health is stronger for those who report: smaller social networks and poorer relationship quality. We employed self-rated health and self-reported chronic illness as the health outcome measures and:social network size, positive quality and negative quality with family members as the social relations measures. Our findings suggest that social relations are differentially important depending on the health status indicator examined. The single dimension that influenced both self-rated health and the probability of reporting a chronic illness was positive relationship quality with spouse. Further, social relations, particularly having a negative relationship quality with spouse and adult child, exert stronger effects on both self-rated health and chronic illness for older compared to younger adults. The findings of the present study are important for clinical practitioners who often consider the role and importance of available social resources as they address the health needs of older adults.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Le Journal médical libanais. The Lebanese medical journal
  • Heather R. Fuller-Iglesias · Toni Antonucci
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    ABSTRACT: The Convoy Model suggests that at different stages of the lifespan the makeup of the social support network varies in step with developmental and contextual needs. Cultural norms may shape the makeup of social convoys as well as denote socio-demographic differences in social support. This study examines the social convoys of adults in Mexico. Specifically, it examines whether social network structure varies by age, gender, and education level, thus addressing the paucity of research on interpersonal relations in Mexico. A sample of 1,202 adults (18-99 years of age) was drawn from the Study of Social Relations and Well-being in Mexico. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated older adults had larger, more geographically proximate networks with a greater proportion of kin but less frequent contact. Women had larger, less geographically proximate networks with less frequent contact. Less educated individuals had smaller, more geographically proximate networks with more frequent contact and a greater proportion of kin. Age moderated gender and education effects indicated that younger women have more diverse networks and less educated older adults have weaker social ties. This study highlights socio-demographic variation in social convoys within the Mexican context, and suggests implications for fostering intergenerational relationships, policy, and interventions. Future research on Mexican convoys should further explore sources of support, and specifically address implications for well-being.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · International Journal of Behavioral Development
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    Heather R Fuller-Iglesias · Noah J Webster · Toni C Antonucci
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    ABSTRACT: This study examines the complex role of family networks in shaping adult psychological well-being over time. We examine the unique and interactive longitudinal influences of family structure (i.e., composition and size) and negative family relationship quality on psychological well-being among young (ages 18-34), middle-aged (ages 35-49), and older adults (ages 50+). A sample of 881 adults (72% White; 26% Black) was drawn from the longitudinal Social Relations, Age, and Health Study. Structural equation modeling indicated that among young and middle-aged adults, increasing family negativity was associated with increases in depressive symptoms over time. In contrast, among older adults, lowered proportion of family in network and an increasing number of family members in the network (i.e., family size) were associated with decreases in depressive symptoms. These findings were moderated by family negativity. Among older adults with low family negativity, having a lower proportion of family and larger family size were associated with decreasing depressive symptoms, but there was no effect among those reporting high family negativity. Overall, these results contribute to an increased understanding of the complex, developmental nature of how family support influences well-being across the life span and highlights unique age differences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Developmental Psychology
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    Kristine J. Ajrouch · Toni C. Antonucci · Noah J. Webster
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    ABSTRACT: . We examine how changes in social networks influence volunteerism through bridging (diversity) and bonding (spending time) mechanisms. We further investigate whether social network change substitutes or amplifies the effects of education on volunteerism. . Data (n = 543) are drawn from a two-wave survey of Social Relations and Health over the Life Course (SRHLC). Zero-inflated negative binomial regressions were conducted to test competing hypotheses about how changes in social network characteristics alone and in conjunction with education level predict likelihood and frequency of volunteering. . Changes in social networks were associated with volunteerism: as the proportion of family members decreased and the average number of network members living within a one-hour drive increased over time, participants reported higher odds of volunteering. The substitution hypothesis was supported: social networks that exhibited more geographic proximity and greater contact frequency over-time compensated for lower levels of education to predict volunteering more hours. . The dynamic role of social networks and the ways in which they may work through bridging and bonding to influence both likelihood and frequency of volunteering are discussed. The potential benefits of volunteerism in light of longer life expectancies and smaller families are also considered. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · The Journals of Gerontology Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
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    Toni C Antonucci · Noah J Webster
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    ABSTRACT: It is an exciting time to be a developmental scientist. We have advanced theoretical frameworks and developed ground-breaking methods for addressing questions of interest, ranging literally from cells to society. We know more now than we have ever known about human development and the base of acquired knowledge is increasing exponentially. In this paper we share some thoughts about where we are in the science of human development, how we got there, what may be going wrong and what may be going right. Finally, we offer some thoughts about where we go from here to assure that in the future we achieve the best developmental science possible.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Research in Human Development
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    Sawsan Abdulrahim · Kristine J Ajrouch · Toni C Antonucci
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    ABSTRACT: This spotlight offers a unique window into factors affecting aging in Lebanon. As a bridge between east and west, both geographically and culturally, Lebanon has the fastest growing older adult population in the Arab region, but few societal resources to address its needs. In a country with a history of political instability and war, but also a culture with strong family values, aging adults in Lebanon are vulnerable in some ways and advantaged in others. Outmigration of youth is an important determinant of the wellbeing of the elderly. While often advantaged by remittances sent by their children, older Lebanese adults have less access to instrumental social and personal support previously provided by young adults in the family. How Lebanon manages these challenges is likely to foreshadow the future aging experience for much of the Arab region.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · The Gerontologist
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives. Despite a growing body of literature documenting the influence of social networks on health, less is known in other parts of the world. The current study investigates this link by clustering characteristics of network members nominated by older adults in Lebanon. We then identify the degree to which various types of people exist within the networks. This study further examines how network composition as measured by the proportion of each type (i.e., type proportions) is related to health; and the mediating role of positive support and trust in this process.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · The Journals of Gerontology Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
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    Toni C Antonucci · Kristine J Ajrouch · Sawsan Abdulrahim
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: This study systematically analyzed convoys of social relations to investigate the ways in which gender and income shape patterns of social relations across the life course in Lebanon. Methods: Data were drawn from a representative sample of adults aged 18 and older in Greater Beirut, Lebanon (N = 500). Multiple linear regression and multilevel models were conducted to examine main and interactive effects of age, gender, and income on social relations. Findings indicate main effects of age, income, and gender on network structure and relationship quality. Older age was associated with larger network size, greater proportion of kin in network, higher positive and lower negative relationship quality. Higher income was associated with larger network size and decreased contact frequency. Female gender was also associated with decreased contact frequency. Gender interacted with income to influence network size and network composition. Higher income was associated with a larger network size and higher proportion of kin for women. Discussion: Findings suggest diversity in the experience of social relations. Such nuance is particularly relevant to the Lebanese context where family is the main source of support in old age. Policy makers and program planners may need to refrain from viewing social relations simplistically.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · The Gerontologist
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    Toni C Antonucci · Kristine J Ajrouch · Kira S Birditt
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose of the Study: Social relations are a key aspect of aging and the life course. In this paper, we trace the scientific origins of the study of social relations, focusing in particular on research grounded in the convoy model. We first briefly review and critique influential historical studies to illustrate how the scientific study of social relations developed. Next, we highlight early and current findings grounded in the convoy model that have provided key insights into theory, method, policy, and practice in the study of aging. Early social relations research, while influential, lacked the combined approach of theoretical grounding and methodological rigor. Nevertheless, previous research findings, especially from anthropology, suggested the importance of social relations in the achievement of positive outcomes. Considering both life span and life course perspectives and grounded in a multidisciplinary perspective, the convoy model was developed to unify and consolidate scattered evidence while at the same time directing future empirical and applied research. Early findings are summarized, current evidence presented, and future directions projected. The convoy model has provided a useful framework in the study of aging, especially for understanding predictors and consequences of social relations across the life course.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · The Gerontologist
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    Carey Wexler Sherman · Noah J. Webster · Toni C. Antonucci
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    ABSTRACT: Caregiving research has not accounted for increasingly diverse and complex marital and family histories of older Americans. The authors examined social relations and care-specific positive and negative support networks among late-life remarried wife dementia caregivers (N = 61) to determine associations among network structure, relationship quality with and support received from network members, and global assessments of family and stepfamily disagreement on caregiver well-being. Own family and friends predominated in the social relations and positive networks. Although over half (54%) of respondents included a stepfamily member in their positive networks, stepchildren comprised the largest group (35%) in the negative networks. Larger negative networks and actively negative interactions were related to greater caregiver burden, and more global disagreement with stepfamily was associated with greater depression and burden. The findings illustrate the complex nature of support and the value of targeted examinations of caregiving support dynamics among late-life remarried older adults and stepfamilies facing health demands.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Journal of Marriage and Family
  • Ebony Reddock · Cleopatra Howard Caldwell · Toni C. Antonucci
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    ABSTRACT: African American paternal grandmothers serve an important role in influencing teenage fathers’ involvement with their children in that grandmothers’ support of their sons’ fathering practices is associated with increased father involvement. We used qualitative data from 53 paternal grandmothers to compare satisfaction with teenage sons’ fathering practices with their expectations for ideal fathering and identify reasons for inconsistencies between the two. Paternal grandmothers characterized three practices (providing financial support, being attentive, and performing day-to-day care) that were key to their satisfaction with their sons’ fathering practices. These characterizations mostly overlapped with their expectations for ideal practice. When inconsistencies between expectations and satisfaction were noted, we identified three ways grandmothers interpreted satisfaction with fathering practices. These results have implications for research on teenage fatherhood and interventions meant to enhance teenage fathers’ involvement in rearing their children.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Journal of Family Issues
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    ABSTRACT: The present study examined the complex way in which relationships with family and friends shape health and well-being in adulthood over time. Specifically, we explored whether the longitudinal effects of positive and negative family relationship quality on health and well-being differ in the context of varying levels of positive friend relationships. Data were from two waves (1992/1993 and 2005) of the Social Relations, Aging and Health Study. The sample included respondents aged 18 and older at Wave 1 who reported having a best friend at both waves (N = 455), and consisted of 291 (64%) women and 164 (36%) men. Wave 1 friend positivity and family positivity interacted to predict self-rated health but not self-esteem, indicating that among respondents with a less positive friend relationship, more positive family relationships were related to worse health at Wave 2. Wave 1 friend positivity and family negativity significantly interacted to predict self-rated health and self-esteem at Wave 2. The nature of the interactions were consistent in that among respondents with a more highly positive friend relationship, less negative family relationships were linked to better health and self-esteem at Wave 2. Findings provide insight into the complex way in which social relations impact positive outcomes in adulthood. Previous studies have documented the consistent and straightforward manner in which negative relationships impact health and well-being, whereas this study illustrates that the role of positive social relations is more variable and dependent on multiple relationship contexts.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Research in Human Development
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    Sojung Park · Toni Antonucci

    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Journal of Women & Aging
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    Kristine J. Ajrouch · Sawsan Abdulrahim · Toni C. Antonucci
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    ABSTRACT: This paper documents experiences of stress among people 18+ (N = 500) in Beirut, Lebanon. We investigate the extent to which social relations function as a stabilizing factor for psychological health. Regression analyses indicate a curvilinear link between stress and psychological health. Both low and high levels of stress predict higher depressive symptoms. Among those aged 18–39 years, there is no buffering effect of social relations yet for those aged 40–59 years positive support quality buffers the effect of stress on depressive symptoms. Among those 60+ years old, negative support quality buffers the effect of stress on depressive symptoms. The function of social relations varies both in its main and buffering effects at different points in the life course. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · GeroPsych: The Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry
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    ABSTRACT: This paper addresses the health problems and opportunities that society will face in 2030. We propose a proactive model to combat the trend towards declining levels of physical activity and increasing obesity. The model emphasizes the need to increase physical activity among individuals of all ages. We focus on the right to move and the benefits of physical activity. The paper introduces a seven-level model that includes cells, creature (individual), clan (family), community, corporation, country, and culture. At each level the model delineates how increased or decreased physical activity influences health and well-being across the life span. It emphasizes the importance of combining multiple disciplines and corporate partners to produce a multifaceted cost-effective program that increases physical activity at all levels. The goal of this paper is to recognize exercise as a powerful, low-cost solution with positive benefits to cognitive, emotional, and physical health. Further, the model proposes that people of all ages should incorporate the "right to move" into their life style, thereby maximizing the potential to maintain health and well-being in a cost-effective, optimally influential manner.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: In Arab countries, the proportion of older adults is rapidly increasing, highlighting the need to conduct research on factors that influence aging. We describe the context-specific challenges faced and the solutions negotiated during the conduct of a survey study on family relations and aging in Greater Beirut, Lebanon. Method: Drawing on the experience of a recently completed survey study, we reflect on the context-specific challenges faced and the solutions negotiated during the phases of questionnaire construction, interviewer training, sampling, and participant recruitment as a means to contribute to the growing area of cross-cultural survey research. Results: The social context of family relations influenced the nature of questions that can be included to obtain valid information. The unavailability of demographic data and the presence of cultural norms that promote deference to older adults also presented methodological challenges to the sampling and recruitment of older adults. Discussion: We provided illustrative examples on the importance of learning about a country's social and cultural contexts, and the necessity of exercising flexibility in decision making to ensure the collection of valid data and the successful completion of the study. Lessons learned inform elements of the research process in an Arab country, as well as bring to light unusual, yet generalizable, circumstances that will inform experiences in other cultural settings.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · The Journals of Gerontology Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences

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