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Ambul Pediatr. 2004 Jul-Aug;4(4):316-22.

Factors associated with variations in parental social support in primary care pediatric settings.

Author information

  • 1Division of General Pediatrics and Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 48106-1248, USA. shjee@med.umich.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine social support (SS) among parents across sociodemographically distinct pediatric outpatient settings.

METHODS:

We conducted a cross-sectional, self-administered, anonymous parent survey in 3 primary care sites in a Midwestern metropolitan area: inner-city health center, urban group practice, and suburban group practice. Participants were parents of children aged 6 weeks to 36 months. The main outcome measure was overall SS as measured by a previously validated 10-item instrument. Multivariate linear regression modeling was used to examine sociodemographic and health factors associated with overall SS scores.

RESULTS:

The study sample included 463 parents. The strongest sources of SS were a significant other or spouse and parent's parent or grandparent. The range for overall SS was 0 to 20, with a mean score of 12.1 (SD, +/-4.2). Parents with overall SS in the lowest quartile (n = 123) comprised 43% of parents at the inner-city health center compared with 23% of parents at the urban practice and 16% of parents at the suburban practice. In a multivariate model, factors associated with lower overall SS were race other than white or black, single or cohabiting marital status, poorer parental health, and parental depressive symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although parental SS was lowest in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged community in this sample, parents in all 3 communities had widely varying levels of support. Providers may gain insights about parents at increased risk for low SS by asking about parents' own physical and mental health.

PMID:
15264948
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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