Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Financial strain, negative social interaction, and self-rated health: evidence from two United States nationwide longitudinal surveys

  • NEAL KRAUSE (a1), JASON T. NEWSOM (a2) and KAREN S. ROOK (a3)

Three hypotheses concerning negative social interaction in later life were evaluated in this study. First, it was predicted that greater personal economic difficulty is associated with more frequent negative social interaction with social network members in general. Secondly, it was proposed that more frequent negative social interaction exacerbates the undesirable effect of personal financial strain on change in self-rated health during late life. Thirdly, an effort was made to see if some types of negative social interaction, but not others, accentuate the undesirable effects of personal economic problems on self-rated health. Data from two nationwide longitudinal surveys that were conducted in the United States revealed that greater personal financial difficulty is associated with more interpersonal conflict. The findings further indicate that the undesirable effects of personal economic difficulty on change in self-rated health are more pronounced at progressively higher levels of negative social interaction. Finally, the data suggest that one form of negative social interaction (not getting help when it is expected) is more likely to intensify the unwanted effects of personal financial strain on self-rated health than other types of negative social interaction.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Neal Krause, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 109 Observatory Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029, USA. Email:
Hide All
M. Barrera 1986. Distinctions between social support concepts, measures, and models. American Journal of Community Psychology, 14, 4, 413–45.

K. W. Boey and H. F. K. Chiu 2005. Life strain and psychological distress of older women and older men in Hong Kong. Aging and Mental Health, 9, 6, 555–62.

L. L. Carstensen 1992. Social and emotional patterns in adulthood: support for socioemotional selectivity theory. Psychology and Aging, 7, 3, 331–8.

K. Ferraro and Y.-P. Su 1999. Financial strain, social relations, and psychological distress among older people: a cross-cultural analysis. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 54B, 1, S315.

R. M. Groves 2006. Nonresponse rates and nonresponse bias in household surveys. Public Opinion Quarterly, 70, 1, 646–75.

K. C. Holden and T. M. Smeeding 1990. The poor, the rich, and the insecure elderly caught in between. Milbank Quarterly, 68, 2, 191219.

W. James 1892/1961. Psychology: The Briefer Course. Harper and Row, New York.

N. Krause 1987. Chronic strain, locus of control, and distress in older adults. Psychology and Aging, 2, 4, 375–82.

N. Krause 1994. Stressors in salient social roles and well-being in late life. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 49, 3, P13748.

N. Krause and G. Jay 1991. Stress, social support, and negative interaction. Research on Aging, 13, 3, 333–63.

K. D. Lincoln , L. M. Chatters and R. J. Taylor 2005. Social support, traumatic events, and depressive symptoms among African Americans. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 67, 3, 754–66.

C. F. Mendes de Leon , S. S. Rapp and S. V. Kasl 1994. Financial strain and symptoms of depression in a community sample of elderly men and women: a longitudinal study. Journal of Aging and Health, 6, 4, 448–68.

R. S. Peirce , M. R. Frone and M. L. Cooper 1996. Financial stress, social support, and alcohol involvement: a longitudinal test of the buffering hypothesis in a general population. Health Psychology, 15, 1, 3847.

K. S. Rook 2001. Emotional health and positive versus negative social exchanges: a daily diary analysis. Applied Developmental Science, 5, 2, 8697.

D. H. Sorkin and K. S. Rook 2004. Interpersonal control strivings and vulnerability to negative exchanges in later life. Psychology and Aging, 19, 4, 555–64.

D. H. Sorkin and K. S. Rook 2006. Dealing with negative social exchanges in later life: coping responses, goals, and effectiveness. Psychology and Aging, 21, 4, 715–25.

A. Steptoe , L. Brydon and S. Kunz-Ebrecht 2005. Changes in financial strain over three years, ambulatory blood pressure, and cortisol responses to awakening. Psychosomatic Medicine, 67, 2, 281–7.

B. Thompson 1994. The pivotal role of replication in psychological research: empirically evaluating the replicability of sample results. Journal of Personality, 62, 2, 157–76.

K. H. Trzesniewski , B. Donnellan and R. W. Robins 2003. Stability of self-esteem across the life span. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 1, 205–20.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Ageing & Society
  • ISSN: 0144-686X
  • EISSN: 1469-1779
  • URL: /core/journals/ageing-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4
Total number of PDF views: 22 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 185 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 18th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.