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Keywords:

  • personal networks;
  • quality of life;
  • social support;
  • demobilized individuals;
  • Armed Conflict

ABSTRACT

The study identifies relationships between the characteristics of personal networks of demobilized individuals and their quality of life, through the evaluation of a sample of 102 ex-combatants from a demilitarized zone in Colombia's Caribbean coast. The data was processed using centrality values calculation and statistical analysis through the Pearson correlation coefficient. Results showed moderate levels of nodality, proximity and intermediation degrees regarding small, closed networks with an unsatisfied high demand for support resources. Quality of life showed medium performance levels, with inverse relationships between mental health (p = .009 < .05) and vitality (p = .011 < .05) and intermediation. Positive feedback related significantly to general health (p = .041 < .05), while negative interactions showed inverse relationships to physical functioning (p = .012 < .05), physical role (p = .005), mental health (p = .001 < .05), and emotional role (p = .009 < .05). In conclusion, among the highly cohesive personal networks, there were less observations of social support that fosters increased energy and psychological health, given that access to this support is limited to a small number of members of the personal network. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.