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Ethnic and Gender Differences in Family Social Support among Black Adolescents

1
Department of Sociology, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
2
School of Social Work, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
3
School of Public Health, School of Social Work, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Healthcare 2018, 6(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare6010020
Received: 28 January 2018 / Revised: 24 February 2018 / Accepted: 28 February 2018 / Published: 2 March 2018
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Abstract

This study examines black adolescents’ reports of the most helpful types of social support that they receive from and provide to family members, and whether family support exchanges vary by ethnicity (African American vs. Black Caribbean) and gender. Data for this study are from the National Survey of American Life Adolescent Supplement (NSAL-A), a national, probability sample of African American and Black Caribbean youth (ages 13–17). Overall, youth reported financial support, followed by emotional assistance and practical support as the most helpful types of support that they received. Practical and emotional assistance characterized the most commonly reported types of support that they provided to family members. Black Caribbean adolescents were more likely than African American adolescents to report financial and practical assistance as the most helpful types of support that they received from family members; no ethnic differences were observed in the provision of support to relatives. There were no significant gender differences in the receipt of support, but adolescent girls reported greater involvement in providing emotional support and caregiving than adolescent boys. The results of this paper reveal that African American and Black Caribbean adolescents are involved in a complex pattern of reciprocal support exchanges with their extended family members. Study findings also reinforce the importance of research focused on racial/ethnic and gender differences in family support exchanges in order to develop a more nuanced understanding of family support behaviors within these groups. View Full-Text
Keywords: extended family; social support; support networks; race/ethnicity; adolescence extended family; social support; support networks; race/ethnicity; adolescence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Cross, C.J.; Taylor, R.J.; Chatters, L.M. Ethnic and Gender Differences in Family Social Support among Black Adolescents. Healthcare 2018, 6, 20.

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