Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Lim, Caroline


Background: Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is considered a public health concern due to its high prevalence and a leading cause of disability in the United States. Patients suffering from CKD face a multitude of challenges. Past studies have shown that the challenges of CKD can be reduced through social support. However, little is known about the support-seeking behaviors used by the person in crisis to influence the amount of support received. Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine whether there was an association between support-seeking behaviors (direct vs. indirect) and levels of social support among CKD patients. Methods: This descriptive study used a cross-sectional design to gather quantitative data from participants living with a chronic disease including CKD. Participants were recruited using convenience sampling and snowball sampling methods. Participants’ demographic characteristics were gathered along with their support-seeking behaviors, measured using a validated 16-item scale, and their social support, measured using the Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey. Descriptive statistics were generated for the sample. Additionally, correlation analysis was conducted to determine whether there was an association between participants support seeking behaviors and social support. Results: Thirty participants were recruited for this study. The majority identified as Latino/Hispanic with an average age of 42.8. There was an even distribution of participants living with family and living alone or with non-family members. There were as many married participants as there were unmarried participants. The findings from this study partially supported our hypothesis that support-seeking behavior would be correlated with levels of social support. As indirect support-seeking behavior increased, the level of social support decreased. However, direct support-seeking behavior was not associated with social support levels. Conclusion: The findings demonstrate some promising steps toward enhancing social work practice to add additional questions in the assessment portion of services regarding patients’ forms of seeking social support. Social Workers should also be more proactive in offering social support services and encourage patients to utilize more direct support-seeking behaviors to improve social support.