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Social support LGBT participants were asked how often they received the emotional and social support they needed; responses ranged from never = 1 through always = 5; higher mean scores are indicative of greater levels of social support. LGBT participants appear to enjoy moderate levels of social support (M = 3.67, SD = .96). Lesbians report Levels of social support by sexual orientation and gender identity significantly higher levels of Standard support than gay men. Levels Mean Deviation of social support for bisexuals Lesbians 3.83‡ .72 are similar to those of lesbians Gay Men 3.65 1.01 and gay men, as are the levels Bisexual Women and Men 3.64 .91 between transgender adults Transgender Women and Men 3.52 1.08 and their non-transgender ‡ Indicates that a p value remains <.05 in adjusted logistic peers. regressions after controlling for age, income, and education

Social support networks To better understand how social support operates in their lives, we asked LGBT participants who comprised their social networks -- whom they turned to for support, encouragement, or short-term help, such as running an errand or getting a ride. Almost three-quarters (72%) of the participants indicate a “close friend” as their most common source of social support. Next most common are partner or spouse (36%), therapist (23%), and neighbor (22%). Analysis by sexual orientation and gender identity reveals the following findings:   

Gay men are more likely than lesbians to have no one to whom to turn for social support. Lesbians are more likely than gay men to turn to a partner or spouse, a family member, or a neighbor for social and emotional support. Transgender adults are more likely than non-transgender adults to turn to faith communities for social and emotional support.

Spiritual and religious engagement Engaging in spiritual or religious practices or activities has also been found to be a protective factor in health and quality of life among older adults (Fiske, Wetherell, & Gatz, 2009; McCullough & Laurenceau, 2005; Solomon, Kirwin, Van Ness, O'Leary, & Fried, 2010). It has also been associated with slower progression of impaired immune system functioning and less psychological distress among those living with HIV (Ironson et al., 2002). We asked LGBT participants whether they had attended faith, spiritual or religious services or activities in the past 27

Profile for SAGE

Addressing the Needs of LGBT Older Adults in San Francisco: Recommendations for the Future  

This report examines results of a survey of more than 600 LGBT older adults in San Francisco in 2013.

Addressing the Needs of LGBT Older Adults in San Francisco: Recommendations for the Future  

This report examines results of a survey of more than 600 LGBT older adults in San Francisco in 2013.

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