Title page for ETD etd-09022009-112005

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Norris, Claire
Author's Email Address csam1@tigers.lsu.edu
URN etd-09022009-112005
Title Effects of Network Capital and Social Support on Mental Health by Race and Class
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hurlbert, Jeanne S. Committee Chair
Beggs, John J. Committee Member
Dumais, Susan Committee Member
Shrum, Wesley Committee Member
Baumeister, Alan Dean's Representative
  • Social Support
  • Mental Health
  • Race
  • Class
  • Network Capital
Date of Defense 2009-07-01
Availability unrestricted
This study investigates race and class differences in the stress-support-distress process. Incorporating the social support strand of network analysis in the stress-support-distress model allows social support theorists to understand better what network sectors enhance/restrict access to such resources as social support and, in turn, affect such outcomes as mental health. I used data collected in a 2003 study of residents in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, to construct measures used in my analyses. Using independent samples t-test and ordinary least squares regressions, I addressed five general research questions: (1) whether and how there are variations in network capital forms the structure and resource element of network capital -- by race and class, (2) whether there are race/class differences in perceptions of support adequacy, (3) how network capital affects perceptions of social support adequacy by race and class, (4) how the stress-support-distress process varies by race and class. I find that both race and class differences exist in the stress-support-distress process. My results also suggest there are greater significant differences exist between working/lower-class blacks and whites in the stress-distress-support process. Further, my findings provide evidence that my race- and class-sensitive analyses begins to suggest that race and class differences in network capital is important for understanding the variations in the stress-support-distress process across social strata.
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