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Discrimination, Social Support, and Cortisol in Low-Income Hispanic Women and Infants

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Although discrimination is implicated in ethnic health disparities, social support may buffer against its negative effects on health. This study investigated whether prenatal maternal discrimination and social support would predict postpartum cortisol in low-income Hispanic women and infants. Among infants

Although discrimination is implicated in ethnic health disparities, social support may buffer against its negative effects on health. This study investigated whether prenatal maternal discrimination and social support would predict postpartum cortisol in low-income Hispanic women and infants. Among infants whose mothers reported high discrimination, low maternal social support was associated with high infant cortisol (ß= -0.293, p= 0.03). This provides evidence for the social buffering hypothesis.

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2013-05

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Social support from family and friends and their role as buffers against internalizing symptoms among Mexican American youth

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Internalizing symptoms are prevalent among adolescents, especially among Latinos, and can have negative consequences on health and development. Understanding the risk and protective factors leading to internalizing difficulties among Latino youth is critical. The current study sought to assess the

Internalizing symptoms are prevalent among adolescents, especially among Latinos, and can have negative consequences on health and development. Understanding the risk and protective factors leading to internalizing difficulties among Latino youth is critical. The current study sought to assess the effects of family risk and peer social rejection in the seventh grade on internalizing symptoms in the tenth grade, and the potential buffering effects of social support from family and from friends, among a sample of 749 Mexican American youth. Structural equation modeling was used to examine pathways from seventh grade family risk and peer social rejection to internalizing symptoms in the tenth grade. Perceived social support from family and perceived social support from friends were tested as moderators of these relations. Gender differences in these pathways were also assessed. Results showed that family risk did not predict tenth grade internalizing symptoms, but that peer social rejection predicted increased internalizing symptoms for girls. Furthermore, buffering effects were not confirmed; rather social support from both friends and family had no effect on the relation between family risk and internalizing symptoms, and high levels of social support from both sources amplified the effect of peer social rejection on internalizing symptoms. Secondary analyses suggested that at low levels of social support from both sources, peer social rejection predicted decreased internalizing symptoms for males. Limitations and implications for prevention and future research are discussed.

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2015

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Effect of Social Support on Health Empowerment and Perceived Well-Being in Adults Impacted By Cancer: A Program Evaluation

Description

Background: Cancer impacts the lives of millions of patients, families and caregivers annually
leading to chronic stress, a sense of powerlessness, and decreased autonomy. Social support may improve health empowerment and lead to increased perception of well-being.

Purpose: The purpose of

Background: Cancer impacts the lives of millions of patients, families and caregivers annually
leading to chronic stress, a sense of powerlessness, and decreased autonomy. Social support may improve health empowerment and lead to increased perception of well-being.

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of social support provided by a cancer support agency on health empowerment and perceived well-being in adults impacted by cancer.

Conceptual Framework: The Health Empowerment Theory maintains that perceived wellbeing is the desired outcome; mediated by health empowerment through social support, personal growth, and purposeful participation in active goal attainment.

Methods: Twelve adults impacted by cancer agreed to complete online questionnaires at
baseline and at 12 weeks after beginning participation in social support programs provided by a cancer support agency.
Instruments included: Patient Empowerment Scale, The Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (SWEMWBS), and The Office of National Statistics (ONS) Subjective Well-Being Questions.

Results: Four participants completed pre and post surveys. An increase was seen in
empowerment scores (pre M = 1.78, SD = 0.35 and post M = 3.05, SD = 0.42). There was no
increase in perceived well-being: SWEMWBS pre (M= 3.71, SD= 0.76), post (M= 3.57, SD=
0.65); ONS pre (M= 7.69, SD= 1.36), post (M= 6.59, SD= 1.52).

Implications: The data showed an increase in health empowerment scores after utilizing social support programs, lending support to the agency’s support strategies. It is recommended that the measures be included in surveys routinely conducted by the agency to continue to assess the impact of programming on health empowerment, and perceived well-being.

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2017-05-03