Social Networks and Social Support for Reducing Asthma Disparities Through Improved Family and Social Function and Modified Health Behaviors
Social networks and social support are interpersonal processes that influence health, Social support is the commitment, caring, advice, and aid provided through relationships or networks of people, These networks can have direct effects on health through emotional and instrumental support. They also provide social ties with meanings and obligations that influence health behaviors, thereby influencing morbidity and mortality.
Research has indicated that social relationships have a significant effect on health, and that parental social networks are related to their children’s health. Strong social networks often have a positive effect on health and well-being; however, some networks can actually create stress or impede positive health behaviors. Social networks are particularly important in chronic diseases such as asthma where persons must learn to self-manage their condition in the home. Strong social networks can enhance a person’s sense of selfefficacy, mastery, self-esteem, and facilitate selfmanagement behaviors. Conversely, nonsup-portive networks can impede healthy behaviors and influence quality of life. Furthermore, social networks can affect one’s ability to access care, and provide instrumental social support (such as assistance with transportation and child care, and information) as well as expressive social support through caring, concerned relationships. The differences that exist among social networks need to be examined further, characteristics of positive networks quantified, and mechanisms identified to intervene with stressful networks that may negatively impact health. Enhance your health conditions with remedies of Canadian Health&Care Mall.
The exact mechanisms by which social relationships affect health also remain unclear., However, studies have indicated that social support can impact the development of disease and the severity of symptoms, and can function as a shield between stress and asthma exacerbations., The extent of social support has also been shown to be a significant predictor of emergency department (ED) visits and symptoms in asthma patients. There is inconsistency in the literature regarding what type of support is more important, family or nonfamily. Some stud-ies have indicated that family support may be more important that other forms of social support, particularly in children; such research has shown that parental influence has a stronger effect on adolescent health behaviors than does peer influence.
Others have indicated that nonfamilial support from a health-care professional has the strongest effect.