Despite an increasing volume of research on Irish migrants to the UK, limited scientific data exists on the main effects of social support on the health of this community.
A sample of Irish migrants in London was purposefully recruited (n = 790). Linear regression was used to predict social support. Logistic regression examined the independent association between functional social support and self-rated health (SRH) controlling for low risk covariates.
Older age, economic factors and better SRH precited stronger social support. Irish migrants who reported being able to rely on at least three people in times of crisis and those who perceived stronger emotional support were more likely to report good SRH when adjusted for demography and socio-economic factors. As risks increased only perceived support in times of crisis predicted SRH.
Interventions which build reliable and trusted social networks may have a direct effect on migrant health.