Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Van Valey

Second Advisor

Dr. Lewis Walker

Third Advisor

Dr. Lyke Thompson


This dissertation examines the relationship between life events, social support, and health by testing a theoretically derived model. Regression analysis reveals that the number of undesirable health-related events explains most of the variation in reported health problems. Yet, when undesirable health-related events are added to the dependent variable, only five percent of the variation is explained. This finding suggests a measurement problem: the tautology of health-related events and health outcomes. The impact of this measurement problem is further illustrated through path analysis. When the tautology is removed, only two of the eight predictor variables remain in the model. Suggestions for future research and implications for policy making are also examined.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Sociology Commons