248737 Pathways Through Which Social Support Influences Self-Management Practices Among Mid- to Late-Life African American Women

Monday, October 31, 2011

Idethia Shevon Harvey, DrPH , Department of Human Development & Family Studies, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Social support is a complex multidimensional construct, and research indicates that social support can be beneficial to the recipients. However, research also suggests that without an optimal match, social support can also be less satisfying to recipients. Because social support involves both a provider and a recipient, the possibility of mismatch between the intention of the support giver and perception of the support receiver is likely to occur. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between support providers and those receiving support among mid- to late-life African American women with chronic conditions. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 women to discuss what type of social support they received from their primary relationship (i.e., daughter or best friend) in managing their chronic conditions. Interviews were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim, and data analyzed with dyadic narrative analysis. Prior to each discussion, a quantitative questionnaire assessed the various type of social support received and type of self-management practices performed. The quantitative study analyzed social support as the mixed predictor variable, types of relationships as the between-dyads variable, and self-management practices as the outcome variable. Results indicated that age of the recipient, number of chronic conditions, and friends' social support were important predictors of the type of self-management practices. In addition, narrative analysis identified the different patterns of social support among relationships. Daughters provided more instrumental support while friends provided more emotional support. The results have implications in designing specific support programs among relationships for African American women with chronic conditions.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
After attending this session, participants will be able to identify and understand how social support processes are associated with self-management practices. After attending this session, participants will be able to identify the various pathways of social support among women with chronic conditions.

Keywords: African American, Self-Management

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI of the study
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.