Eric D. Widmer

Widmer, E.D., Girardin, M., & Ludwig, C. (2018). Conflict structures in family networks of older adults and their relationship with health-related quality of life. Journal of Family Issues, 39(6), 1573-1597.

This study explores the interrelationships between health-related quality of life and conflict structures in family networks of older adults. Data were derived from a sample of 2,858 elders (aged 65 years and older) from the Vivre/Leben/Vivere study, a large survey addressing family life and health conditions of older people in Switzerland. Conflict density in family networks and the betweenness centrality of respondents in family conflict are significantly associated with health-related quality of life measures. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that conflict–health associations are mediated by the level of perceived individual stress where psychological health is concerned. Family conflict structures depend to a large extent on family composition and age. This study stresses the importance of older adults actively shaping the composition of their family contexts in ways that promote both conflict and stress avoidance.

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