, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 545-581

Help-Seeking Comfort and Receiving Social Support: The Role of Ethnicity and Context of Need

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Abstract

Examined help-seeking comfort and receiving social support among Latinos, African Americans, and European Americans across two contexts: in a communitywide emergency (Hurricane Andrew) and 2 years later in a nonemergency situation. In general, help-seeking comfort was a strong predictor of received support. Notwithstanding many similarities between the groups, the effects of ethnicity differed according to the context. In emergency, all groups reported similarly high levels of help-seeking comfort and received support. In nonemergency, help-seeking comfort declined for blacks and whites but not for Latinos. Although all ethnic groups reported receiving less social support in nonemergency, the decline in received support across contexts was most dramatic for Latinos. Situational, cultural, and differential resource loss explanations are offered to account for the findings.