Examining Heterogeneity of Social Support among Asian and Lat ...

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  • Title: Examining Heterogeneity of Social Support among Asian and Latino Immigrants in the United States: A Latent Class Analysis
  • Author(s): Amelia Derr, Taryn Lindhorst, Sabrina Oesterle
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Health, Wellness & Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Health, Wellness, and Society
  • Keywords: Immigrants, Health, Social Support, Health Disparities, Latent Class Analysis
  • Volume: 8
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2156-8960 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2156-9053 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2156-8960/CGP/v08i02/17-33
  • Citation: Derr, Amelia, Taryn Lindhorst, and Sabrina Oesterle. 2018. "Examining Heterogeneity of Social Support among Asian and Latino Immigrants in the United States: A Latent Class Analysis." The International Journal of Health, Wellness, and Society 8 (2): 17-33. doi:10.18848/2156-8960/CGP/v08i02/17-33.
  • Extent: 17 pages

Abstract

Stressors stemming from the migration experience may exacerbate underlying health concerns or initiate new problems, placing immigrants at risk for decreased wellbeing. Social relationships have robust benefits for physical and mental health; however, social networks may be interrupted during migration, leaving immigrants without usual sources of support. Whether migrants develop new social ties and what types of social resources they access post-migration may influence health outcomes. This study examines the variety of social support experiences and whether there are unique differences in support patterns between immigrants and US-born. We argue these differences are integral to health promotion efforts. Drawing on data from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS) (n = 4639), we use latent class analysis (LCA) and multinomial logistic regression to explore unique patterns and predictors of social support from family, friends, and co-religionists. Results indicate six unique patterns of social support: High Support (26%), Family and Peer-Connected (24%), Family-Centered (23%), Low Support (11%), Friend-Centered (9%), and Religious (8%). Immigrant status is predictive of membership in the Low Support, Religious, and Family-Centered subgroups. Immigrants are less likely than US-born to access support from all sources other than implicit support from co-religionists. Findings lend empirical support from a nationally representative study to the notion that migration may disrupt usual sources of support and influence subsequent support network composition and draw attention to the potential health consequences for immigrants without strong social relationships. Implications highlight the need for social support-building efforts in new and established immigrant communities.