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Child Care Health Dev. 2008 Jan;34(1):87-97. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2007.00754.x.

A social support and social strain measure for minority adolescent mothers: a confirmatory factor analytic study.

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Department of Psychology, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA.



The purpose of this study is to examine the validity and structure of the Social Support Network Questionnaire (SSNQ), an interview for identifying the positive and negative aspects of individuals' social networks.


The sample consisted of 536 pregnant and parenting, African-American and Latina adolescents. Participants were recruited from an alternative school for pregnant and parenting adolescents in a large Midwestern city.


Confirmatory Factor Analyses revealed the presence of three factors: perceived availability, satisfaction and social strain. All three factors demonstrated adequate internal consistency. Perceived availability and social strain were uncorrelated, implying that they are distinct dimensions. Social strain was the most consistent predictor of psychological well-being. Further, strain in relationships with the young women's male partners added unique variance to the prediction of both anxiety and depression.


The results of this study suggest that the SSNQ may be a useful tool in assessing both positive and negative aspects of pregnant and parenting adolescent mothers' social support networks.

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