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African American Extended Family and Church‐Based Social Network Typologies

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Family Relations / Family Relations Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies

Published online on


We examined social network typologies among African American adults and their sociodemographic correlates. Network types were derived from indicators of the family and church networks. Latent class analysis was based on a nationally representative sample of African Americans from the National Survey of American Life. Results indicated four distinct network types: ambivalent, optimal, family centered, and strained. These four types were distinguished by (a) degree of social integration, (b) network composition, and (c) level of negative interactions. In a departure from previous work, a network type composed solely of nonkin was not identified, which may reflect racial differences in social network typologies. Further, the analysis indicated that network types varied by sociodemographic characteristics. Social network typologies have several promising practice implications, as they can inform the development of prevention and intervention programs.