The impact of social capital on quality of life for elder deaf persons
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
Disability Studies Conference 'Diversity in Quality of Life'
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
Aim of the study
The aim of the presentation is to answer questions about the role of social networks for quality of life in a deaf population. On the one hand this refers to the question whether a specific network composition (with respect to deaf and hearing network persons) provides positive resources for quality of life. On the other hand, the paper is aimed to identify pathways of moderator and mediator effects (including self-efficacy and communicative skills) between social networks and quality of life to provide deeper insight into the possible mechanisms of network influences.
A dataset of a survey with 107 elder members of the deaf community aged between 45 and 81 years (M=61 years) is used. Interviews were conducted with self-administered computer-based video-questionnaires. Network size was measured with respect to three different types of social relationships (intimacy, support and companionability) separated for deaf and hearing network partners. Quality of life was measured with the WHO-QOL domain of global quality of life. Self-efficacy was measured with a German version of the Generalized Self-Efficacy scale. Communicative skills were measured with three questions regarding the self-rated competence to communicate in sign-language, text comprehension and the ability to understand the communication of hearing persons.
It was found that a larger social network is significantly associated with higher quality of life. This however, is mainly attributable to the size of the deaf network. Although the hearing networks size is also associated with a higher quality of life, this is due to the correlation of deaf and hearing network size (i.e. persons with larger deaf networks also tend to maintain larger hearing networks). The hypothesis of a particular positive effect of a bicultural network composition on quality of life however, has to be rejected. Bicultural networks do not affect quality of life in a way that goes beyon