Prior research suggests that supportive relationships with spouses and friends are preventative against certain health conditions. This study expands upon this research by exploring associations between the quality of a person’s family relationships and the likelihood of experiencing chronic health conditions to investigate whether supportive family relationships are protective against chronic disease. I hypothesize that more supportive family relationships will be associated with a lower likelihood of experiencing chronic health conditions. The analyses will be tested using data from the second wave of the Midlife in United States Survey (MIDUS II). Respondents include 7,105 men and women between the ages of 34 and 84 (Mage =56). Respondents rated the quality of their family relationships on a scale from 1 (a lot) to 4 (not at all). Example items included: "How much do members of your family really care about you?" and "How much can you rely on them for help if you have a serious problem?" Respondents also indicated whether or not they had experienced the following chronic health conditions: cardiovascular disease, cancer, and stroke. To test the hypothesis, I will examine the correlations between family support and each chronic health condition (i.e., cardiovascular disease, cancer, and stroke).
Dr. Kelly Cichy