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Cultural Disparities Among Social Support Seekers

Psychiatry Res; ePub 2018 May 6; Herbert, et al

Cultural differences in how and why individuals use social support may underlie racial/ethnic differences in the relationship between social support and psychological resilience, a recent study found. Furthermore, these findings are consistent with previous studies that show Asian American veterans report lower psychological resilience than non-Hispanic white veterans.

Researchers examined the relationship between race/ethnicity and psychological resilience, and the moderating role of social support in this relationship among non-Hispanic white (n=605), Hispanic (n=107), African American (n=141), and Asian American (n=97) Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) combat veterans. Veterans were primarily male (88%) with a mean age of 31.4 years. They found:

  • An analysis of covariance showed that Asian American veterans reported significantly lower psychological resilience than non-Hispanic white veterans.
  • The relationship between psychological resilience and social support significantly differed by race/ethnicity such that social support was positively associated with psychological resilience among non-Hispanic white veterans, but not among other racial/ethnic groups.

Herbert MS, Leung DW, Pittman JO, Floto E, Afari N. Race/ethnicity, psychological resilience, and social support among OEF/OIF combat veterans. [Published online ahead of print May 6, 2018]. Psychiatry Res. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2018.04.052.