This paper briefly reviews the literature about friendship as an informal support for older women, an at-risk population whose numbers are increasing. Data from an AOA supported study indicate that older women use their friends differentially depending both on the nature and qualities of the friendship as well as the type of help that is required. Friends are more likely to provide help with social-emotional tasks than instrumental ones. Programs should be designed that maximize interaction among older women and those who could serve as informal supports.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Jean K. Quam is an Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. This research was supported in pan by HEW-AOA Grant #90-A-1230 for multidisciplinary research on aging women, awarded to the Faye McBeath lnstituteon Aging and Adult Life, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1977-1979). Reprints may be ordered from Jean K. Quam, University of Minnesota, School of Social Work, 400 Ford Hall, Mi~eapolis,M N 55455.