ERIC Number: ED278750
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Reference Count: 0
Social Support: A Critical Review of the Literature as it Applies to Black Americans. Occasional Paper No. 26.
Milburn, Norweeta G.
Social support is a significant component of mental health; yet, it has not been examined extensively among black Americans. This paper is a critical review of the research literature on informal social support. The review identifies how social support is conceptualized and defined, the importance of social support for mental health, and the sources of social support among black Americans. The following findings are among those listed: (1) people seeking assistance from sources other than their social support group are dissatisfied with their social networks; (2) people make different demands on the social support network, depending upon their socioeconomic status, sex, and age; (3) lack of social support is related to distress; (4) among blacks, social support networks mainly provide instrumental and emotional support, including child care and economic assistance; (5) those with limited resources do not always benefit from increased contact with network members; and (6) identifying the structural and process-oriented characteristics of one's own social network and one's client's social network can lead to more effective and appropriate intervention strategies. Guidelines on how practitioners can apply the implications of research on social support in program development are provided. Extensive references and a selected bibliography on social support are appended. (PS)
Descriptors: Blacks, Coping, Counseling, Economic Factors, Helping Relationship, Interpersonal Relationship, Mental Health, Quality of Life, Reference Groups, Social Networks, Social Support Groups
Institute for Urban Affairs and Research, 2900 Van Ness Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20008, ($5.00, $4.00 each for 10 copies or more).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Howard Univ., Washington, DC. Inst. for Urban Affairs and Research.