Pain, Positive and Negative Social Exchanges, and Depressive Symptomatology in Later Life
Objectives: Pain in older adulthood is correlated with both depressive symptomatology and positive and negative social exchanges, but the direction of these relationships remains unclear. This study investigated whether (a) pain is associated with increases in negative exchanges and decreases in positive exchanges and (b) negative exchanges play a greater role than positive exchanges in accounting for the association between pain and depressive symptomatology. Methods: Data were derived from the Later Life Study of Social Exchanges, a longitudinal survey of noninstitutionalized older adults. Interviews assessed participants' sociodemographic and biopsychosocial characteristics, as well as their interactions with network members. Results: Pain was significantly associated with negative exchanges, and both pain and negative exchanges predicted greater depressive symptomatology over time. Positive social exchanges, however, were not related to either pain or depression. Discussion: The findings underscore the value of examining older adults' social exchanges in efforts to understand pain-induced depressive symptomatology.