STARKER, JOAN ELLEN; PHD

                         PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY, 1988
                         SOCIOLOGY, INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY STUDIES (0628)

                         A critical factor influencing adaptation to a new city is an individual's social network. The very nature of
                         moving, however, necessitates both the loss of previous social ties and the building of a new social
                         network. There has been an absence of attention in previous research to the way in which networks
                         evolve and change over time. This descriptive study investigated the development of a social network
                         following geographic relocation. The sample consisted of seventy newly relocated, married males and
                         females. Two structured interviews were completed three months apart. The data were analyzed using
                         decriptive and correlational statistics. The results indicated that the size of the new social network
                         changed little over time but did not reach the premove network size. There was an increase in levels of
                         intimacy and the amount of social and community activity over time although pre-move levels were not
                         attained. The building of a new network requires a considerable amount of time. A cross-sectional
                         analysis of pre-move network data indicated it takes between 2.5 to 4.5 years in a community to attain
                         stable levels of intimacy. Subjects relied on their spouses for support; they received minimal social
                         support from their new network members at time one and time two. Moreover, the new social networks
                         were in transition and unstable. The majority of the network members named at time one were deleted at
                         time two. Lack of time and work commitments were perceived as main obstacles to network
                         development. Results showed that characteristics of the individual impact the development of a social
                         network and the mobilization of social support. Gender, employment status, and social competence were
                         the factors that most strongly influenced the social network. Although this sample was not characterized
                         by high stress, health, finances, and work were the primary stressors. The subjects were relatively
                         satisfied with all areas of their lives except for friendships. With the exception of homemakers, there was
                         an increase in dissatisfaction with friendships over time. Implications for the corporation, the community,
                         and the clinician are discussed.


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