This study examined the role of social support in influencing dietary quality in older African American public housing residents, specifically investigating individual (age, education, gender, marital status, and living arrangement), social support (help with meals, social network size, frequency of contact, and proximity or distance from network), and dietary factors (number of meals consumed daily, dietary quality). A random sample (n = 80) of public housing residents age 55+ living in a Northeastern community was interviewed. Data were analyzed using Pearson correlation coefficients, multiple regression analyses, and structural equation modeling (SEM). Given the limited sample size, a SEM path model was developed based on observed associations in correlation and regression analyses. Results show that number of meals, frequency of contact, and proximity significantly influenced dietary quality. However, dietary quality was indirectly influenced by education, marital status, having a housemate, and help with meals, highlighting influence of both individual and social factors.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/drnancy_cohen/3/