Living the golden rule: Reciprocal exchanges among African Americans with cancer

Jill B. Hamilton, Margarete Sandelowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Giving is receiving, and receiving is giving. This is the key finding from interviews conducted with 28 African American women and men with cancer who were active participants in dynamic relationships characterized by both giving and receiving. These participants engaged in reciprocal relationships varying in the number of persons involved, types of resources exchanged, and timing of exchange. Findings suggest the need to reconceptualize social support as caregiving and caregiving as social support. This study also points to the need to redesign intervention studies to be more inclusive of components that allow the elderly in illness-related situations to maintain their status as givers in their social networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)656-674
Number of pages19
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003


  • African Americans
  • Cancer
  • Caregiving
  • Social exchanges
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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