Social support is generally thought to facilitate adherence to recommended treatment regimens. Despite a well-documented tradition of social support among African Americans, much of the existing research indicates a very limited level of adherence, especially to dietary modification. To account for this seeming contradiction, forty-one rural-dwelling African Americans with hypertension age 65+ participated in a series of structured and semi-structured interviews. Results indicate that 1) informants perceived themselves to be well-supported by family and friends; 2) most informants have achieved a moderate to high level of dietary adherence; and 3) no statistically significant relationship existed between perceived social support and dietary adherence. The discussion focuses on three reasons for this lack of association, including: 1) modest sample size; 2) informants' identification of helpful others who defied standard evaluations of support; and 3) incremental and gradual dietary changes that required little need for social support.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||International Journal of Aging and Human Development|
|State||Published - 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology