General Social Survey - Social Support and Aging (GSS)

Summary of changes

Activity on this program started: 1996

Reference period of change - 2012 (Cycle 26)

The purpose of GSS Cycle 26 is to provide a snapshot of the lives of caregivers and care receivers in today's Canada. Cycle 26 is the fourth cycle of GSS that deals with this topic, the first three having been conducted in 1996, 2002 and 2007. The content of Cycle 26 is similar to these previous cycles with some sections revised, expanded or removed. While some cycles also included topics such as retirement or family history, Cycle 26 focuses exclusively on various aspects of giving and receiving care.

Reference period of change - 2011 (Cycle 26, Pilot Survey)

The pilot test (which resulted in 2,000 interviews conducted) of the data collection methodology and questionnaire was conducted in September 2011. This test allowed for the questionnaire to be fully tested over a two-week period with respondents in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec. Data collection observations of the pilot test were conducted by survey team members. All observation comments and suggestions were fully documented and, along with comments from interviewers, analyzed and implemented into the survey when possible.

Reference period of change - 2007 (Cycle 21)

The purpose of Cycle 21 is to better understand the experiences of Canadians 45 years of age and over by examining key transitions related to their families, care giving and receiving, work and retirement.

Reference period of change - 2002 (Cycle 16)

Cycle 16 (2002) collected data on social support and aging.

Reference period of change - 1996 (Cycle 11)

The first (1985) and sixth cycles (1991) of the GSS (see record number 3894) had health as their core content. With the introduction of the National Population Health Survey in 1994, there was no longer a need to collect data in the health core subject area. This allowed for a new core to be introduced and social support was proposed. Social support was not a new topic for the GSS; however this cycle expanded the concept extensively.

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