DIMENSIONS OF SOCIAL SUPPORT, STRESS, AND SYMPTOMATOLOGY AMONG CHRONIC SCHIZOPHRENICS: AN EXAMINATION OF THE BUFFERING HYPOTHESIS

KATHERINE CRITS-CHRISTOPH, Fordham University

Abstract

The present study systematically investigated the relationships among social support, stress, and psychological adaptation in a sample of 75 outpatient schizophrenics. "The buffering hypothesis" which suggests that social support mediates and reduces the deleterious effects of stress was assessed by measuring the interactions of levels of stress with levels of social support in the prediction of symptomatology. Two types of stress measures, daily hassles and major life events were obtained by self-report. Social network and perceived social support variables were used to tap the availability and adequacy of social support, respectively. Psychological symptoms were measured by the Brief Symptom Inventory. Multiple regression analyses were performed regressing stress and support variables and their interactions onto symptomatology. Significant main effects were found for daily hassles and perceived social support from friends (PSS-Fr). Daily hassles were positively correlated with symptomatology, while PSS-Fr was inversely correlated with symptomatology. Significant interactions between hassles and PSS-Fr and hassles and number of intangible family support relationships were found to predict symptomatology. The directions of both of these interactions were consistent with the "buffering hypothesis." The specificity of main and buffering effects for social support with regard to different symptom dimensions was explored. The findings were discussed with regard to the importance of the qualitative dimensions of social support, the implications for clinical treatment, and the need for longitudinal designs to investigate the direction of causality. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

KATHERINE CRITS-CHRISTOPH, "DIMENSIONS OF SOCIAL SUPPORT, STRESS, AND SYMPTOMATOLOGY AMONG CHRONIC SCHIZOPHRENICS: AN EXAMINATION OF THE BUFFERING HYPOTHESIS" (January 1, 1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI8521386.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8521386

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