Ample research has linked social and emotional support,
or the process by which someone feels, receives, or
provides aid to another, to a range of mental and
physical health outcomes. Feeling seen and cared for is
linked to enhanced mental health, a clearer sense of
meaning or purpose in life, and reduced burden of stress.
Moreover, stronger social relationships can substantially
reduce premature mortality. Access to social support
varies from person to person, depending on a range of
demographic characteristics and life circumstances.
Understanding how familial social support differs for
those with overlapping marginalized identities is
especially important for advancing population health and
health equity. This brief examines the differences in
familial social support by rurality and gender identity.