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Rini Christine , Manne Sharon , DuHamel Katherine , Austin Jane , Ostroff Jamie , Boulad Farid , Parsons Susan K , Martini Richard , Williams Sharon E , Mee Laura , Sexson Sandra , Redd William H
Social support from family and friends as a buffer of low spousal support among mothers of critically ill children: A multilevel modeling approach
Health Psychology. 2008 ;27(5) :593-603
PMID: Peer Reviewed Journal: 2008-13168-011   
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Objective: To investigate whether social support from family and friends (family/friend support) attenuated ("buffered") adverse effects of having low spouse support (spousal support) among mothers of children undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Design: One hundred sixty-three married mothers who were their child's primary caregiver during treatment completed assessments during the child's hospitalization for HSCT and 3-, 6-, and 12-months post-HSCT. Measures: Family/friend support and spousal support were assessed during hospitalization. Maternal physical and mental health-related functioning (the main outcome measures) were assessed at all timepoints. Results: Multilevel modeling was used to analyze trajectories of maternal functioning. Findings indicated that mothers with low spousal support and low family/friend support demonstrated the worst functioning across all timepoints. Mothers with low spousal support and high family/friend support demonstrated significantly better functioning, supporting the hypothesized buffering effect. Their functioning compared to the functioning of mothers with high spousal support. Moreover, mothers with high family/friend support demonstrated trajectories of physical health-related functioning that were more stable than the trajectories of mothers with low family/friend support. Conclusion: These findings have clinical implications in addition to advancing knowledge of social support processes among couples coping with the shared stressor of a child's life-threatening illness and treatment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract).