Church-Based Exchanges of Informal Social Support Among African Americans
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- Taylor, R.J., Chatters, L.M., Lincoln, K. et al. Race Soc Probl (2017) 9: 53. doi:10.1007/s12552-017-9195-z
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This study examines the correlates of the types of instrumental support exchanges that occur between church members among African Americans. Exchanges of four types of instrumental support are examined: transportation assistance, help with chores, financial assistance and help during illness. Data for this study are from the National Survey of American Life Re-Interview, the follow-up survey to the National Survey of American Life which is a nationally representative sample of the African American population. We found that African Americans were more likely to both give and receive support in situations involving illness, followed by transportation, financial assistance and help with chores. For each of the four types of instrumental support, respondents indicate that they provide more assistance to others than they receive. For all eight dependent variables, those with lower levels of education were more actively engaged in receiving and providing support than their higher educated counterparts. Higher levels of religious service attendance were associated with higher levels of support, which underscores the importance of involvement in faith communities for assistance. Overall, our findings confirm the importance of church-based informal social support between African Americans and documents within group diversity as both recipients and providers of assistance.