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Influence of Kin Network on Maternal and Infant Health and Illness | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2376-127X

Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health
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Research Article

Influence of Kin Network on Maternal and Infant Health and Illness

Nathan Oesch* and RIM Dunbar
Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3UD, UK
Corresponding Author : Nathan Oesch
Department of Experimental Psychology
University of Oxford South Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3UD, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7722 564901
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: January 29, 2014; Accepted: April 10, 2015; Published: April 13, 2015
Citation: Oesch N, Dunbar RIM (2015) Influence of Kin Network on Maternal and Infant Health and Illness. J Preg Child Health 2:146. doi: 10.4172/2376-127X.1000146
Copyright: © 2015 Oesch N, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Background: The present study investigated the effects of supportive social network ties on health in a sample of mothers with a young child. The aim of this study was to examine if Liverpool participants having a large supportive network of close relatives reported less cases of illness than participants without such social support.

Methods: A cross-sectional design was employed whereby 74 randomly sampled mothers over the age of 20 with a child 24-36 months completed a questionnaire at twelve monthly time intervals over the course of one year. Multiple logistic regressions were applied to health survey data from participants from Liverpool collected from October 2001 to October 2002.

Results: Respondents living in Liverpool reported decreased illness rates with increased interpersonal contact. A statistically significant reduction in physical illness was observed for mothers and infants that had high contact frequency with close relatives. A statistically significant reduction in physical illness was also found for participants with a large social network of close relatives.

Conclusion: Results confirmed a potentially protective health relation for frequent contact with a large network of close relatives, but showed a less consistent picture for health benefits beyond a certain threshold of more distant relatives. Previous research has shown that social relationships can have a significant impact on psychological wellbeing, health and human disease, and so a greater understanding of social network structure is important to establish the need for preventive care and advice on maintaining important social relationships.


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