Psychological Network of Stress, Coping and Social Support in an Aboriginal Population

Publication Name

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


Over the past decades, increasing research interest has been directed towards the psychosocial factors that impact Aboriginal health, including stress, coping and social support. However, there has been no study that examined whether the behaviours, cognitions and emotions related to stress, coping and social support constitute a psychological network in an Aboriginal population and that examined its properties. To address this gap, the current study employed a new methodology, network psychometrics, to evaluate stress, coping and social support in an Aboriginal Australian population. This study conducted a secondary analysis of the South Australian Aboriginal Birth Cohort (SAABC) study, a randomised controlled trial in South Australia, which included 367 pregnant Aboriginal women at study baseline. The Gaussian Graphical Model was estimated with least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO). Node centrality was evaluated with eigencentrality, strength and bridge centrality. Network communities were investigated with the walktrap algorithm. The findings indicated that stress, coping and social support constituted a connected psychological network in an Aboriginal population. Furthermore, at the centre of the network were the troubles experienced by the Aboriginal pregnant women, bridging their perceptions of stress and coping and constituting a potential target for future interventions.

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Article Number


Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

National Health and Medical Research Council



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