Social exchanges and subjective well-being : do sources of positive and negative exchanges matter?

Sheung Tak CHENG, Kin Kit LI, Edward M. F. LEUNG, Cheung Ming, Alfred CHAN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To decompose the effects of positive and negative social exchanges on well-being in terms of relationship type (vertically extended family, horizontally extended family, or nonfamily) and subjective closeness (close vs. peripheral). Methods: One thousand and five Chinese older adults rated each network member on positive and negative exchanges, which were aggregated for each relationship type and closeness category. Regression analyses estimated the influences of positive and negative exchanges on well-being, controlling for network size, health, and demographic factors. Results: Social exchanges with close and peripheral vertical family members as well as close horizontal family members were associated with well-being, whereas exchanges with nonkin did not contribute independent effects. These results were similar for both positive and negative exchanges. Discussion: Well-being is determined not just by social exchanges but also by where they come from. In this regard, the vertical family, the horizontal family, and the nonfamily represent a hierarchy of preference for Chinese older adults, which, to some extent, reflects the influence of familism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)708-718
Number of pages11
JournalJournals of Gerontology. Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2011


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