Session: Social Isolation and Social Support in the Context of Adversity: Risks and Resilience (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

90 Social Isolation and Social Support in the Context of Adversity: Risks and Resilience

Friday, January 14, 2022: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Independence BR F, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
Cluster: Mental Health
Symposium Organizer:
Suzanne Brown, PhD, Wayne State University
Strong epidemiological evidence over the past 20 years continues to generate support for the association between social isolation and poor health outcomes, while at the same time social isolation among Americans continues to increase. This increase in social isolation has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated losses and economic insecurity. We now know that inadequate social networks are associated with greater susceptibility to illness, increased mortality, and poorer health and well-being. Additionally, adverse experiences such as forced migration, violence exposure, poverty, and a global pandemic can all erode social support, increase one's risk for isolation, and decrease an individual's capacity to utilize social networks in the interest of health and well-being. Organized by the Social Work Grand Challenge to Eradicate Social Isolation group, this mixed methods symposium brings together five papers that focus on the role of adversity in social isolation, and the ways in which social support may buffer the effects of adversity on well-being. These papers are united by their focus on social isolation and social support, specifically the role of adversity as a risk factor for isolation and the role of social support in promoting resilience in the face of adversity. All authors in this symposium apply concepts related to developmental or current adversity in their discussion of risk and protective factors for social isolation. In the first paper, Moderating Effects of Social Support on the Cortisol Stress Response of Adversity Exposed Fathers, Brown and colleagues examine the influence of social support in buffering the impact of ACEs on the physiological stress response (cortisol levels) of 38 expectant fathers during a stressful simulated parenting task. They find that fathers with higher ACE scores have higher cortisol stress responses and that those with higher social support experience a lower cortisol stress response to stressful parenting tasks. The second paper, Loneliness, Social Support, and Mental Health Service Use During the Transition to Adulthood by Bessaha and colleagues, found that in a sample of 307 young adults, experiencing greater loneliness predicted greater psychological distress and that social support was significantly associated with service usage in this population. In the third paper, The Effect of Social Cohesion on Psychological Distress among Low-Income Immigrant Adolescents, Lee et al. examined the effect of social cohesion on psychological distress among low-income immigrant adolescents and found negative associations between social cohesion and psychological distress for these youth. In their study, Social Bonds and Bridges: Understanding the Support Systems for Rohingya Unaccompanied Refugee Minors in the U.S., Evans and colleagues interviewed Rohingya unaccompanied refugee minors to understand social support and social well-being in this population. Emergent themes included connections with friends and families abroad, English-speaking skills, and connection to Rohingya community. Finally, in the fifth paper, Minimizing the Risk of Social Isolation in Older African American Adults Shut-in Due to COVID-19, Crosby and colleagues evaluated a community engaged intervention designed to reduce health disparities associated with social isolation and poverty among African American older adults and will discuss best practices to reduce isolation.dified by on 4-30-2021-->
* noted as presenting author
Social Support Buffers the Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on the Cortisol Stress Response Among High Risk Fathers Engaged in a Stressful Parenting Task
Suzanne Brown, PhD, Wayne State University; Jason Carbone, PhD, Wayne State University; Laurel Hicks, PhD, University of Colorado; Ekjyot Saini, MSW, Auburn University; Carolyn Dayton, PhD, Wayne State University
Loneliness, Social Support, and Mental Health Service Use during the Transition to Adulthood
Melissa Bessaha, PhD, LMSW, MA, State University of New York at Stony Brook; Dawnsha Mushonga, PhD, University of Baltimore; Lisa Fedina, PhD, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; Jordan DeVylder, Ph.D., Fordham University
The Effect of Social Cohesion on Psychological Distress Among Low-Income Immigrant Adolescents
Guijin Lee, PhD, Wayne State University; Seungjong Cho, PhD, Texas Tech University; Viktor Burlaka, PhD, Wayne State University
Social Bonds and Bridges: Understanding the Support Systems for Rohingya Unaccompanied Refugee Minors in the U.S
Kerri Evans, PhD, University of Maryland Baltimore County; Teri Husfloen, U of Maryland; Kylie Diebold, University of Maryland at Baltimore
A University-Community Partnership to Eradicate Social Isolation Among Urban Dwelling Older African American Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Robert Cosby, PhD., Howard University School of Social Work; Sandra Edmonds Crewe, PhD, MSW, Howard University
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