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1 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. Your use of this material constitutes acceptance of that license and the conditions of use of materials on this site. Copyright 2006, The Johns Hopkins University and William Brieger. All rights reserved. Use of these materials permitted only in accordance with license rights granted. Materials provided “AS IS”; no representations or warranties provided. User assumes all responsibility for use, and all liability related thereto, and must independently review all materials for accuracy and efficacy. May contain materials owned by others. User is responsible for obtaining permissions for use from third parties as needed.

2 Social Support William R. Brieger, MPH, CHES, DrPH
Johns Hopkins University 1

3 Definitions and Theories
Section A Definitions and Theories 2

4 Social Support ◆ “Social support is a feedback provided
via contact with similar and valued peers” —Gottlieb, 1985 ◆ Emotional: Affect, esteem, concern ◆ Instrumental: Aid in labor, money, time ◆ Informational: Suggestions, advice, information ◆ Appraisal: Feedback, affirmation Continued 3

5 Social Support ◆Support systems “help the individual
mobilize his psychological resources and master his psychological, emotional burdens; they share his tasks; and they supply him with extra supplies of money, materials, tools, skills, and cognitive guidance to improve his handling of his situation.” — Caplan, 1974 Continued 4

6 Social Support ◆Social support: “Feedback from a
primary group that is health protective, during times of stress” — Cassel, 1976 5

7 Links Between Behavior Models and Social Network Theory
◆ Health belief model – Cues to action: Other people provide information, encouragement to undertake, or refrain from recommended actions – Modifying factors: Membership in social groups provides context for beliefs and perceptions Continued 6

8 Links Between Behavior Models and Social Network Theory
◆Social learning theory – The (social) environment: The social environment is the context in which people observe new behavior and evaluate the implications directly or vicariously of new behavior Continued 7

9 Links Between Behavior Models and Social Network Theory
◆Ecological model – Interpersonal level: Group membership provides a context in which behavior can be encouraged or discouraged and a means for interpreting acceptable behavior 8

10 More Links ◆PRECEDE – Reinforcing factors:
Attitudes/behaviors of significant others that encourage or dissuade action Continued 9

11 More Links ◆Theory of reasoned action
– External factors: Attitudes toward reference groups – Subjective perceptions of norms: This component is especially relevant to appraisal and feedback types of social support Continued 10

12 More Links ◆Diffusion theory – Characteristics of change agent:
Homophilous communication within primary groups and channels of communication—that is, better communication and information flow within groups that share common characteristics 11

13 Social Support Mediates Between Individual and Environment
Social Support and ANC Registration in Moniya, Nigeria Support Score Trimester 12

14 A Social Network ◆ “A specific set of linkages among a
defined set of persons, with the additional property that the characteristics of these linkages as a whole can be used to interpret the social behavior of the persons Involved” — Mitchell, 1980 13

15 Relationships and Structures
Section B Relationships and Structures 14

16 Relationships and Structures John Scott
◆ Relational data are central to the principle concerns of the sociological tradition, with its emphasis on the structure of social action ◆ Structures are built through relationships, and the structural concerns of sociology can be pursued through the collection and analysis of relational data Continued 15

17 Relationships and Structures John Scott
◆Social network concepts originally derived from textile metaphors of social fabric, web, interweaving, and interlocking 16

18 Social networks are units of identity
(Wearing Egbe with stripes) 17

19 Wearing the same cloth at a Yoruba ceremony is
a means of establishing social identity 18

20 Groups provide support: Emotional, material,
informational, and feedback 19

21 Networks are often informal, built from daily interactions—
such as working together, Continued 20

22 Selling goods Continued 21

23 Cooking for ceremonies
Continued 22

24 Relaxing after a day’s work

25 Providing instrumental support, like helping roof a
house, is a key social network function Continued 24

26 And while the men put on the roof,
women prepare a meal for all 25

27 Members of a social network provide emotional support during difficult times Continued 26

28 The household, in its various forms, is a basic social network

29 Married Couples Need Social Support
◆ Marriages may be arranged or negotiated so that there is a commitment between families ◆ Both families try to make the marriage work and solve problems/conflicts ◆ In arranged marriages, partners know the importance of compromise ◆ The marriage is seen as a productive unit 28

30 A married couple 29

31 The Household Economy ◆Income, accessing external resources
◆Allocation and expenditure ◆Decision making and bargaining ◆Productive activities inside the household ◆Individual member health status as a result of the above processes 30

32 Formal networks often form around economic interests:
A beauticians’ society at a town celebration 31

33 Traders from neighboring villages form an association that sets prices and oversees sales; if one member is sick, another can take his or her crops to market for sale 32

34 The yam sellers meet together to set prices and review quality; these groups also get together for social occasions, such as celebrating when one of their members has a naming ceremony or has a child who gets his “freedom” from apprenticeship 33

35 In the sixth century, Mayan astronomers held conferences to decide about leap year and other professional matters 34

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