Mental health-related quality of life; racial and ethnic minorities; social support; family resiliency; low-income community


Community Health | Other Mental and Social Health | Public Health


The effect of social support on the overall health and quality of life in adulthood has been well documented particularly in chronic disease populations. Very few studies examined the relationships between childhood social support, family resiliency and mental health in adulthood in the community and among disadvantaged minority populations. We examined the role of social support and family resilience during childhood on subsequent mental health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in adulthood among racial/ethnic minorities.

A needs assessment survey which was designed to explore health determinants and quality of life indicators using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach in a low-income community in Tampa was analyzed. Participants were predominantly low-income non-Hispanic black and Hispanic population (n=187). The outcome mental HRQoL was measured using the validated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “Healthy Days Measure” instrument. We utilized sequential multivariable logistic regression models to examine the independent effects of childhood social support and family resiliency on mental HRQoL in adulthood.

Approximately 12.3% of study participants reported poor mental HRQoL (i.e. ≥14 unhealthy days due to mental health). Childhood social support and family resiliency were significant predictors of mental HRQoL in adulthood, after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. Sleep and composite health issues in adulthood were also associated with mental HRQoL.

Our analyses highlight an opportunity to promote mental health through support of interventions that improve positive family relationships and reduce the burden of chronic health issues among non-Hispanic black and Hispanic children.