Longitudinal analysis of relationships between social support and general health in an Australian population cohort of young women

Holden, Libby, Lee, Christina, Hockey, Richard, Ware, Robert S. and Dobson, Annette J. (2014) Longitudinal analysis of relationships between social support and general health in an Australian population cohort of young women. Quality of Life Research, 24 2: 485-492. doi:10.1007/s11136-014-0774-9


Author Holden, Libby
Lee, Christina
Hockey, Richard
Ware, Robert S.
Dobson, Annette J.
Title Longitudinal analysis of relationships between social support and general health in an Australian population cohort of young women
Journal name Quality of Life Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-9343
1573-2649
Publication date 2014-08-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s11136-014-0774-9
Volume 24
Issue 2
Start page 485
End page 492
Total pages 8
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose: The influence of social support on health and quality of life has been well documented. There is less evidence on whether health status affects social support, and little is known about longitudinal relationships between social support and health in early adulthood. This study investigates these associations using both concurrent and time-lagged measures at 5 time-points over 12 years during early adulthood.

Methods: A population-based cohort of 9,758 young women from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health was used. Women were aged 22-27 in 2000 and 35-39 in 2012. The General Health subscale of the SF-36 and the MOS Social Support Survey 6-item Scale were used, with scores standardised to a range of 0-100. Longitudinal tobit models were used, because both social support and general health data were left skewed, with marked ceiling effects. All models were adjusted for status of the outcome of interest at the immediately previous survey.

Results: With both concurrent and time-lagged measures, there was a statistically significant difference in mean general health scores across social support quintiles after adjusting for demographic and behavioural covariates: lower general health was associated with lower social support. In reverse, social support mean scores were also significantly different across general health quintiles in both concurrent and time-lagged fully adjusted models.

Conclusion: Social support is significantly associated with both current and subsequent general health in early adulthood. The significance of the reverse associations indicates that the two mutually influence each other. This study highlights the importance of social support as a health-related quality of life issue.
Keyword Social support
Health
Longitudinal
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
School of Psychology Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 17 Sep 2014, 18:54:44 EST by Libby Holden on behalf of School of Public Health