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Title:Resilience to health shocks: How do family information and support networks respond to unexpected negative health events?
Author(s):Brown, Lindsay K.; Veinot, Tiffany C.E.
Subject(s):Network shocks
Health support networks
Chronic illness
Abstract:Social networks can respond to outside shocks by 'turtling up' (clus-ering around strong ties) instead of adapting by activating more weak ties to obtain new information, however this has not been shown in smaller, personal information and support networks. Therefore, the goal of this study was to explore whether these networks respond to shocks similarly. To do this, we evaluated the impacts of health shocks, unforeseen and disruptive health events, on the structure (e.g. network size/transitivity and tie strength/type) and function, i.e. ability to provide resources like information and social support, of information and support networks for families managing chronic illness. Using clustered sampling methods, families managing HIV/AIDS or type 2 diabetes were recruited. Longitudinal interview, survey and network data were collected from 28 families over a period of 2.5 years, with up to five contacts per family. We report descriptive statistics and random effects models using family-level data for network change in relation to health shocks. Health shocks were not significantly associated with changes in structure or function of family networks. Some change, however, was observed, with most measures trending down from one time to the next including proportions of weak ties and informational support ties, indicating these networks are not adapting by accessing novel information channels. Although further work is needed, the patterns of change observed did not match network responses to shocks found in prior work implying a possible difference in the ways that these networks respond to shocks and in what is actually driving observed changes.
Issue Date:2020-03-23
Series/Report:iConference 2020 Proceedings
Genre:Conference Poster
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Lindsay K. Brown and Tiffany C.E. Veinot
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-03-17

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