The Effect of Social Networks and Social Support on Mental Health Services Use, Following a Life Event, among the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area Cohort

  • Pallab K. Maulik
  • William W. Eaton
  • Catherine P. Bradshaw
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11414-009-9205-z

Cite this article as:
Maulik, P.K., Eaton, W.W. & Bradshaw, C.P. J Behav Health Serv Res (2011) 38: 29. doi:10.1007/s11414-009-9205-z

Abstract

The study examined the association between life events and mental health services use, accounting for social networks and social support. Main and stress-buffering effects were estimated using longitudinal data from the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area cohort (1,920 participants in 1993–1996, of whom 1,071 were re-interviewed in 2004–2005). Following a life event, the odds of using general medical services were increased by almost 50% when there was increased social support from spouse/partner (referral function). The odds of using mental health services within general health setup were reduced by 60% when there was increased support from relatives (stress-reduction function). Increased social support from friends and relatives was associated with a 40–60% decreased odds of using specialty psychiatric services after experiencing different life events (stress-reduction function). Overall, social support rather than social networks were more strongly associated with increased mental health service use following a life event. The implications for service delivery and program development are discussed.

Copyright information

© National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pallab K. Maulik
    • 1
  • William W. Eaton
    • 2
  • Catherine P. Bradshaw
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Mental HealthJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mental HealthJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mental HealthJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA

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