A closer look at the impact of social networks on well-being among an aging South African population

Two South African women wearing colorful clothes

A recent study based on data from the project “Health and Aging in Africa: a Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa” (HAALSI) suggests that social capital theory (the concept that the higher socioeconomic status of your contacts can have positive health impacts as they are a type of interpersonal resource) applies not only in higher-income settings, but in a more resource-limited, rural setting in South Africa as…

What affects the mental health of a population that is now growing older in sub-Saharan Africa?

HAALSI men and women

Harvard Pop Center Director of Research & Research Scientist Elyse Jennings, recent Harvard Bell Fellow Leslie Adams, and senior data scientist at the University of Cape Town Chido Chinogurei have co-authored a study published in Social Science & Medicine – Mental Health (SSM-MH) that found that experiencing a marital dissolution was associated with more depressive symptoms than remaining married for both men and women, and men (but not women) reported greater…

Research Scientist Elyse Jennings named Director of Research at Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies

Head shot of Elyse Jennings

It is with great pleasure that we announce that our Research Scientist Elyse Jennings, PhD, has agreed to take on a senior leadership role here at the Harvard Pop Center and serve as our director of research. Elyse joined us in 2016 as a research associate and was promoted to research scientist over two years ago. In her new role as director of research, she will leverage her training and…

Men (not women) found to receive more social support after losing spouse and when suffering from physical health issue in rural South Africa

Older man in South Africa sitting in a field

A study authored by Harvard Pop Center Research Scientist Elyse Jennings, PhD, and her colleagues Margaret Ralston and Enid Schatz, reveals the levels of social support experienced by older adults in rural South Africa after losing a spouse, and/or experiencing a physical limitation or chronic health issue.

Older adults in rural South Africa who care for their grandchildren may also be safeguarding their cognitive function

Two older women walk on a dirt road in rural South Africa

Three researchers (Harvard Pop Center Research Scientist Elyse Jennings, Research Associate Director Meagan Farrell, and former Bell Fellow Lindsay Kobayashi) affiliated with one of the flagship projects at the Harvard Pop Center — Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa (HAALSI) — have published their findings in the Journal of Aging and Health.

Is depression a barrier to receiving social support among aging adults in rural South Africa?

Head shot of Elyse Jennings

A study by researchers affiliated with the population-based study Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa (HAALSI), including Harvard Pop Center Research Scientist Elyse Jennings, PhD, finds that those study participants reporting symptoms of depression were less likely to receive some types of social support, and there were differences according to gender and marital status.