The purpose of this study is to investigate social support and functional outcomes of Black persons with disabilities. About 14 percent of Black Americans have disabling conditions. Social support is hypothesized to mediate the mental and physical stress associated with disability: Black disabled persons with good systems of social support are predicted to have more favorable functional outcomes.
The specific aims of this study are: to determine the relationship between social support and functional outcomes in disabled Black persons; 2) to examine the social support network of Blacks who are disabled and to assess how these networks relate to outcomes; 3) to examine the type of social support Black persons with disabilities report having and to assess how type of support differentially impacts functional outcomes; and 4) to determine if the relationship between social support and functional outcomes differs for Black and White disabled persons. The sample will consist of 120 physically disabled adults attending outpatient clinics. Subjects will be interviewed and administered questionnaires to obtain information on social support and functional outcomes. Information pertaining to medical status will be obtained from medical records.