Characteristics of social support networks of low socioeconomic status African American, Anglo American, and Mexican American mothers of full-term and preterm infants

Cynthia L. Miller-Loncar, Loeto Jeanette Erwin, Susan H. Landry, Karen E. Smith, Paul R. Swank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the relation of ethnicity to two aspects of mothers' social support: structure (friends vs. family) and quality (satisfaction vs. aggravation) for mothers from low socioeconomic (SES) backgrounds in three ethnic groups - Anglo American (n = 53), African American (n = 50), and Mexican American (n = 42). Mothers of both preterm (n = 81) and full-term infants (n = 64) were included. Mothers from Mexican American backgrounds had fewer friends in their networks when compared with mothers in the African American and Anglo American groups. While there were no significant effects for ethnicity on support satisfaction, mothers overall reported more satisfaction with support received from friends rather than family. African American mothers reported significantly more aggravation in their support systems than the other two groups. This was not due to differences for these mothers in their SES or marital status, and are discussed in relation to community differences that appear to be present for this ethnic group. The clinical importance of considering ethnic backgrounds when serving mothers with young children are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-143
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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