262963 Processes and Contexts Shaping Emotional Support Among Low-Income Young Men

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 1:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Damian Waters, MS , Department of Family Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Kevin M. Roy, PhD , Department of Family Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Claire Bernstein , Family Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
The transition to adulthood has received increased attention in recent years and has been characterized as a period of employment, educational, and relational instability (Arnett, 2004). Emotional support has been found to contribute resilience when youth experience challenging circumstances (Easterbrooks, Chaudhuri, Bartlett, & Copeman, 2011). Few studies, however, have examined how young persons, particularly low-income young men, obtain emotional support during the transition to adulthood (Rogers, 2011). The present study draws a sample of low-income young men ranging in age between 17 and 22 years old to examine how they solicit and receive emotional support through their social networks. Participants (n = 40, 57.5% African American, 42.5% Latino) were recruited from two youth development programs in urban neighborhoods and grounded theory guided a qualitative analysis of life course interviews (Daly, 2007). Three narratives emerged that suggest that low-income young men contribute and receive emotional support through their relationships with their parents and grandparents, peers, and other adults. Additionally, a narrative of self-reliance emerged among young men did not perceive that they had sources of emotional support. Young men's experiences with their families of origin, the timing of life events, and their institutional connections shaped who they exchanged emotional support with as well as the extent of reciprocity in these relationships. Thus, the present study introduces a contextually-situated model that begins to elucidate the processes by young men organize emotional support and thereby promote their resilience in the midst of challenging circumstances.

Learning Areas:
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will be able to describe how conceptualize emotional support 2. Participants will be able to explain contextual factors shape how low-income young men receive and provide emotional support 3. Participants will be able to discuss the processes by which low-income young men organize their social networks to obtain emotional support

Keywords: Mental Health, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have several years experience researching young men's engagement with their families as well as how their contexts shape their transition to adulthood.
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.