Our study investigated the development of social support experienced by Pacific men and women across the adult lifespan in New Zealand (18 to 65 years of age).
We examined differences in social support using data from the first six annual waves of the New Zealand A ttitudes and Values Study (N = 501 women and 238 men) using an age-based latent growth model.
Results and Discussion:
Mean levels of social support decreased as Pacific peoples aged. More specifically, Pacific men demonstrated a significant decrease in social support and older Pacific men demonstrated the lowest levels of support of all Pacific peoples. In comparison, Pacific women maintained higher levels of social support compared to Pacific men, with social support remaining relatively stable across the lifespan of Pacific women.
Our research explores the importance of social support and its link to health and wellbeing among Pacific communities in New Zealand. This is important because we need to understand the factors that could buffer outcomes of low social support such as mental illness and possibly suicide among Pacific peoples.