Older Gay Men and Their Support Convoys
Department or Administrative Unit
We used the convoy model and the network type construct to identify the relationship quality profiles found among older gay men and to examine how they define a satisfactory network. Method:
We used a network mapping strategy and in-depth qualitative interviews with 20 participants in Atlanta. During the interviews, all network members were discussed, regardless of relationship or map position. Results:
For participants, having people in their lives with whom they could fully be “out” as gay men (authenticity) was at the root of a quality network. This allowed them to develop emotional closeness (intimacy), which, in part, provided a foundation of social support. Participants’ discussion of network quality, which reflected authenticity, intimacy, and social support, revealed high, moderate, and low quality network types. Discussion:
Our findings diversify knowledge of the network type construct, provide a deeper understanding of its qualitative features, and give voice to this often-invisible group, situating meaning within their social-historical context. The findings suggest that the meaning of a quality network is contextual and culturally specific, varying across groups of older adults.
Tester, G., & Wright, E. R. (2016). Older Gay Men and Their Support Convoys. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 72(3), 488-497. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbw052
The Journals of Gerontology: Series B
© The Author 2016.