Are the salutogenic effects of social supports modified by income? A test of an "added value hypothesis".
Older adults (54 men, 113 women; M age = 69.5 years) were examined to test the hypothesis that social supports would be more salutogenic (health promoting) for persons with lower incomes than for persons with higher incomes. Interactions of income and social supports (mean of 3 emotional scales of the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List) at study entry predicted changes 15-18 months later in a cardiovascular composite (linear combination of high-density lipoproteins-mean arterial pressure; p < .05), and natural killer cell activity (p < .05). For both outcomes, emotional supports were salutogenic for persons with lower incomes (< or =$29,000/year), but not for persons with higher incomes (>$29,000/year). In contrast, interactions of the Tangible Support Scale with income did not occur. Persons with lower incomes may derive benefits from social supports that go beyond tangible assistance.
Vitaliano, PP; Scanlan, JM; Zhang, J; Savage, MV; Brummett, B; Barefoot, J; Siegler, IC
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