Gender differences in social adaptation to a retirement community: Longitudinal changes and the role of mediated communication

Vincent Waldron, Richard Gitelson, Douglas Kelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Many American elders migrate to age-restricted planned communities in the Sun Belt. Women and men may react differently to these migrations. For women in particular, the use of mediated communication may preserve supportive relationships with distant persons. Men may be advantaged by relocation to planned communities with highly structured social environments. Results are reported from a 4-year longitudinal study of 255 migrants. During the study period, men reported gains in persons providing emotional support, practical assistance, advice, and help with illness. Women reported losses or no change. Consistent with previous work on long-distance relationships, women reported more e-mail contact with their children. For both sexes, the use of e-mail was positively correlated with perceived social support after 4 years of residency. For women, contact with distant friends was particularly associated with levels of emotional support. The role of mediated communication in compensating for negative relocation effects is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-298
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005



  • Adaptation
  • E-mail
  • Gender
  • Retirement
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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