Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This study investigates race and class differences in the stress-support-distress process. Incorporating the social support strand of network analysis in the stress-support-distress model allows social support theorists to understand better what network sectors enhance/restrict access to such resources as social support and, in turn, affect such outcomes as mental health. I used data collected in a 2003 study of residents in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, to construct measures used in my analyses. Using independent samples t-test and ordinary least squares regressions, I addressed five general research questions: (1) whether and how there are variations in network capital forms – the structure and resource element of network capital -- by race and class, (2) whether there are race/class differences in perceptions of support adequacy, (3) how network capital affects perceptions of social support adequacy by race and class, (4) how the stress-support-distress process varies by race and class. I find that both race and class differences exist in the stress-support-distress process. My results also suggest there are greater significant differences exist between working/lower-class blacks and whites in the stress-distress-support process. Further, my findings provide evidence that my race- and class-sensitive analyses begins to suggest that race and class differences in network capital is important for understanding the variations in the stress-support-distress process across social strata.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Hurlbert, Jeanne S.



Included in

Sociology Commons