Social support does not always lead to health benefits; the outcomes depend on the match between the need and the provision of social support. Culture shapes individuals’ preference of social support types (e.g., supportive communication, social companionship, and tangible support). The present study examined how the association between social support and well-being may vary as a function of acculturation among minority cancer survivors.
One hundred and twenty-three Chinese American breast cancer survivors were invited to complete a questionnaire package.
Findings showed that acculturation moderated the association of social support subtypes with psychological and physical well-being. Higher emotional/information support was associated with better quality of life and less physical symptoms among highly acculturated cancer survivors but more physical symptoms among those who were less acculturated. Tangible support was associated with more physical symptoms among highly acculturated cancer survivors but less physical symptoms among those who are less acculturated. Positive social interaction was associated with better quality of life and less physical symptoms among less acculturated cancer survivors but not associated with quality of life or physical symptoms among their highly acculturated counterparts.
The findings pointed to the significance of acculturation in breast cancer experience among minority women, especially its interplay with social support transactions.