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Social Support abstracts and tables:

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1.  Social Support: Clarifying The Construct With Applications For Minority Populations
2.  Social Support Measurement In Group Residences For Older Adults

Journal of Mental Health and Aging, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2001

 Social Support: Clarifying The Construct With Applications For Minority Populations

Elizabeth J. Mutran, PhD

Peter S. Reed, MPH

S. Sudha, PhD

Abstract: 

Social support is a popular construct, which has been defined various ways by researchers over the last 30 years.  This paper identifies the emerging acceptance of definitions and terms used to assess social ties.  Several of the more widely accepted instruments are reviewed with attention paid to their psychometric properties.  Though few of these instruments have been used with minority populations, the influence of social support on health among minority populations is noted.  Through this review it appears that while researchers have placed much emphasis on the conceptualization and measurement of social support, there is little effort exerted to make these appropriate for use in minority populations.  There is a need to comprehensively evaluate social support measures among minority groups to ensure equivalent conceptual clarity and ease of administration.  

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Journal of Mental Health and Aging, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1997

 Social Support Measurement In Group Residences For Older Adults

 Jason T. Newsom, PhD

Jamila Bookwala, PhD

Richard Schulz, PhD

 Abstract:  

This review addresses a variety of issues related to measuring social support among individuals living in nursing homes, residential care facilities, and congregate apartments.  Self-report, proxy, and observational measures that assess social networks, perceived support, and negative interactions are described.  Particular attention is given to the problems and approaches relevant to assessing social support with cognitively impaired individuals and those living in congregate environments.  Although social network and observational measures have been more commonly used with institutionalized elders, several support-related constructs, such as perceived support, satisfaction with support, and negative interactions, that have been demonstrated to be important predictors of mental and physical health are less commonly measured.  More research that focuses on reliability and validity of measures, sources and functions of perceived support, negative interactions and conflict, measurement approaches with cognitively impaired respondents, and the importance of social support for mental and physical health outcomes is recommended.

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