Date of Conferral







Hannah Lerman


Policies at assisted living facilities should be designed to develop high quality social relationships among older persons that could increase the contentment of the residents. Despite the broad consensus on this mission, the role of social support in the perceived contentment of assisted living facility residents has not been adequately explored. Using social network theory as the framework for this study, the purpose of this quantitative study was to determine whether (a) perceived level of social support was related to perceived level of contentment with life among assisted living facility residents, (b) the length of time spent in the facility was related to perceived levels of contentment, and (c) perceived social support moderated the relationship between the length of time in the facility and perceived levels of contentment with life. The sample included 100 residents from 2 assisted living facilities in North Carolina. The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and the Generalized Contentment Scale were used in this study. Linear regression analyses were employed to answer the research questions. Participants with higher levels of perceived social support tended to have higher levels of perceived contentment with life, and the length of time residents had spent in the facility was not related to their perceived contentment with life. In addition, levels of social support did not moderate the relationship between the length of time respondents had been in the facility and contentment; age, gender, ethnicity, and marital status were not related to perceived contentment with life. This study leads to positive social change by providing long-term care providers with information on social support systems and how staff can create conditions for them to enjoy better social relationships and experience greater support, thereby facilitating their contentment with life.