, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 869-898

Ethnicity and Social Support During Pregnancy

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Data from two multi-ethnic prospective studies of African American, Latina, and non-Hispanic White pregnant women were used to examine the influence of contextual factors on social support processes during pregnancy. Multiple types of support (perceived support, received support, support satisfaction, network support) and sources of support (baby's father, family, friends) were assessed. The role of ethnicity in social support was examined after controlling for the contribution of related contextual factors (SES, marital status, age, parity, employment) to these processes. The impact of ethnicity and related contextual factors differed across sources of social support. Ethnic differences in support from family and friends, but not from the baby's father, emerged. However, marital status was a consistent predictor of support from the baby's father, and SES was a consistent predictor of support from friends. Overall, the findings of two studies suggest that although ethnicity is associated with support from friends and family, other contextual factors, such as marital status and SES, influence support processes during pregnancy.