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J Health Soc Behav. 1996 Sep;37(3):252-64.

Exploring the determinants of support provision: provider characteristics, personal networks, community contexts, and support following life events.

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Department of Sociology, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


To explore the determinants of support provision in the natural disaster context, we followed House (1981) and developed a model that specifies how characteristics of the providers, their personal networks, and the community contexts in which they live facilitate or impede their ability to provide support. All three sets of factors affected support provision during Hurricane Andrew, but the pattern of effects differs for the preparation and short-term recovery phases of the hurricane. Age, income, network density, and local economic conditions had significant effects on support provision in the preparation phase. Income did not have a significant effect on short-term recovery support, but religion, house damage, the size and diversity dimensions of network structure, and the local bonds and sentiments dimensions of community attachment did. After comparing the explanatory power of our model in the two phases, we conclude by investigating the implications of this test for understanding the determinants of support provision more generally.

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