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Exploring Race Differences in a Comprehensive Battery of Church-Based Social Support Measures

Neal Krause
Review of Religious Research
Vol. 44, No. 2 (Dec., 2002), pp. 126-149
DOI: 10.2307/3512512
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3512512
Page Count: 24
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Exploring Race Differences in a Comprehensive Battery of Church-Based Social Support Measures
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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to see if the social networks maintained by older blacks in the church are more well developed than the church-based social support systems of older whites. Twelve different dimensions of church-based support are evaluated with data from a recent nationwide survey of older whites and older blacks. The findings suggest that mean levels of support are higher for older blacks than older whites on ten of the twelve church-based social support scales. There are two reasons why greater confidence may be placed in these results. First, rigorous analysis of the newly devised church-based support scales reveals that these measures have good psychometric properties. Second, tests for measurement equivalence suggest that it is appropriate to probe for race differences in the church-based support measures because the subjects in both racial groups tend to evaluate the items in the same way (i.e., they mean the same thing to older whites and older blacks).

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