Social capital is among the strongest correlates of individuals’ life satisfaction. However, its role in promoting life satisfaction among community-dwelling elderly(CDE) was not that explored in prior Korean literature. The measurement of social capital and its role in promoting the life satisfaction among CDE has been also of concern to local government’s policy practitioners who serve the residents. Also, family resilience is suggested to protect the CDE in the face of various adversities and lead to positive adaptive behavior which directly influence positive outcome such as life satisfaction. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of family resilience on perceptions of social support and life satisfaction among the CDE. In specific, the study set up an integrated model with the perceived social network of the CDE as independent variable, their family resilience as a mediator, and their subjective life satisfaction as dependent variable. Both social capital theory and family resilience approach provide a theoretical framework for the study.
The data of the study is a part of a comprehensive survey that was implemented in order to assess the CDE’s social service needs with in a metropolitan city area in South Korea. The study sample was recruited via stratified sampling to represent the CDE. A total of 302 CDEs were responded to the study. Structural equation modeling was used to test the conceptual model. In the study, several constructs were measured using several standardized reliable measures such as social network scale (alpha=.907), family resilience(alpha=.884), life satisfaction(alpha=.837). Bias-corrected(BC) bootstrap method was used to determine whether the indirect of the prediction on the dependent variable is significant or not. FIML(full information maximum likelihood) was employed to handle missing data in Mpus 7.2.
The finding of the SEM analyses supported the proposed conceptual model. There were significant and positive relationships between social network and family resilience(β= .332, p<.001) and between family resilience and life satisfaction(β= .382, p< .001). In addition, it was found that the effects of perception of social network among CDE on their subjective life satisfaction were mediated by their level of family resilience (β= .127, p<.001). The parsimonious model fit the data well (chi-square= 812.745, df=319, p=.000, RMSEA=.073, CFI=.891, TLI=.855, SRMR=0.063). The results indicate that social network indirectly determines their perceived life satisfaction by influencing family resilience (affective family relationship) among the CDE.
Conclusion and Implications: Several significant pathways in the model were identified. In specific, the perception of family resilience among CDE plays an important role in linking CDE's social network to life satisfaction. The findings of the study provide policy practitioners with practical implications for family-focused policies among Korean local governments.