Longitudinal trajectory patterns of social support: correlates and associated mental health in an Australian national cohort of young women

Holden, Libby, Dobson, Annette J., Ware, Robert S., Hockey, Richard and Lee, Christina (2015) Longitudinal trajectory patterns of social support: correlates and associated mental health in an Australian national cohort of young women. Quality of Life Research, 24 9: 2075-2086. doi:10.1007/s11136-015-0946-2


Author Holden, Libby
Dobson, Annette J.
Ware, Robert S.
Hockey, Richard
Lee, Christina
Title Longitudinal trajectory patterns of social support: correlates and associated mental health in an Australian national cohort of young women
Journal name Quality of Life Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-9343
1573-2649
Publication date 2015-01-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s11136-015-0946-2
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 24
Issue 9
Start page 2075
End page 2086
Total pages 12
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Kluwer Academic Publishers
Language eng
Abstract Purpose Although social support is a significant contributor to health and well-being, little is known about patterns of perceived social support over time in young adulthood. It is also unclear which personal characteristics are associated with different patterns, and whether there is an association between social support and mental health over time. We explore these issues in a large national cohort of young women.
Formatted abstract
Purpose
Although social support is a significant contributor to health and well-being, little is known about patterns of perceived social support over time in young adulthood. It is also unclear which personal characteristics are associated with different patterns, and whether there is an association between social support and mental health over time. We explore these issues in a large national cohort of young women.

Methods
We used six waves of longitudinal data spanning 16 years, from 10,369 women from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, initially aged 18–23. We used group-based trajectory modelling to identify patterns of social support across Surveys 2–6; multinomial logistic regression to identify socio-demographic and health-behaviour predictors at Survey 1 and correlates at Survey 6 for each trajectory group; and generalised linear mixed modelling to estimate mean levels of mental health over the trajectory period for each group, adjusted for confounders.

Results
Four distinct trajectory groups of social support were identified: ‘High’ (58.5 %), ‘Decreasing’ (20.6 %), ‘Low’ (9.3 %), and ‘Increasing’ (11.6 %). Poor health and living outside metropolitan areas at both Surveys 1 and 6 were characteristics of women in all trajectory groups other than the ‘High’ group, as were early motherhood and being un-partnered at age 34–39. Other characteristics were specific to one or two trajectory groups. Patterns of mental health over time were consistent with patterns of social support.

Conclusion
Longitudinal trajectory patterns of social support are associated with mental health, health behaviours, and demographic factors even in early adulthood.
Keyword Social support
Trajectories
Mental health
Predictors
Longitudinal
Early adulthood
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
School of Psychology Publications
 
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