Social Capital, Social Support and Stratification
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Social Capital, Social Support and Stratification

An Analysis of the Sociology of Nan Lin

Edited by Ronald S. Burt, Yanjie Bian, Lijun Song and Nan Lin

This insightful book explores the spread of network imagery in three areas of sociology – social capital, social support, and China – using as its protagonist a man active in all three: Nan Lin. Social Capital, Social Support and Stratification provides a unique combination of Nan Lin’s core contributions to the field presented alongside new and original analyses.
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Chapter 6: Social Support, Stressful Life Events, and Illness: A Model and an Empirical Test

Nan Lin, Walter M. Ensel, Ronald S. Simeone and Wen Kuo


The effects of social support and stressors (stressful life events) on illness (psychiatric symptoms) are examined in a model with data from a representative sample of the Chinese-American adult population in Washington, D.C. The analysis shows that, as expected, stressors are positively related to the incidence of psychiatric symptoms. Further, the contribution of social support to predicting symptoms is greater in magnitude than that of stressful life events. When marital status and occupational prestige are incorporated into the model, the significant (negative) contribution of social support to symptoms is not reduced. Implications for the theoretical development of a sociomedical theory of illness are discussed.

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