Influences of Upstream Social Factors on Downstream Perceptions of Social Support in Cardiac Rehabilitation1


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    Shawn Fraser is now at the Centre for Nursing and Health Studies, Athabasca University. This research was supported by a grant awarded to Wendy Rogers from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Shawn Fraser was supported by a doctoral dissertation fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The authors thank Bill Daub, Northern Alberta Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, for his assistance on the study.

Shawn N. Fraser, Centre for Nursing and Health Studies, Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alberta, Canada T9S 3A3. E-mail:


Within Berkman et al.'s (2000) framework, we examined sociodemographic correlates of social networks (SN) and social support (SS) in 155 heart patients (33 women, 122 men), who completed measures of sociodemographics, SN, and SS. Hierarchical regression analyses examined the relationship between sociodemographic factors and SN; and between sociodemographic factors, SN, and SS. Higher social status and more income were related to larger, more diverse networks and more SS. Higher social status and being married were related to more SS. Being married was related to more belonging and tangible support. Results show the complex relationship between higher level social factors and specific SS functions offering areas for future interventions to increase SS in heart patients.