THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIAL SUPPORT AND GROUP PARTICIPATION TO PSYCHOSOCIAL ADJUSTMENT IN MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

ELINOR LOUIS, Fordham University

Abstract

In an effort to confirm and extend McIvor, Riklan and Reznikoff (1984), who found perceived social support to be inversely related to depression in an MS population, the relationship between perceived social support from family, friends and health care providers and several structural social network characteristics with psychosocial adjustment and psychological symptomatology, in an MS population, was investigated. The relationship between group participation by MS patients and their spouses with adjustment was examined. A measure of repression-sensitization was administered in order to assess its role in adjustment.^ Subjects were 60 white males with multiple sclerosis who attended a Veterans Administration outpatient clinic. Approximately half attended a group for neurology patients. The remaining subjects were clinic patients, but were not group members.^ Measures included the Perceived Social Support scales for Family, Friends and Health Care Providers (Procidano & Heller, 1983), the Social Network Questionnaire (Liem & Liem, 1977), the Brief Symptom Inventory (Derogatis, Rickels & Rock, 1976), the MS Adjustment Scale (Counte, Bielauskas & Pavlou, 1984) and the Repression-Sensitization scale (Paulhus, in press).^ The results indicated that, as predicted, perceived social support from family and several structural social network characteristics, were positively related to psychosocial adjustment and inversely related to psychological symptomatology. Perceived social support from friends was not significantly related to either psychosocial adjustment or psychological symptomatology. However, perceived social support from health care providers was positively related to length of participation in group, for group members, and inversely related to psychological symptomatology.^ No significant differences were observed between group and non-group samples on social support, psychosocial adjustment or psychological symptomatology. However, for the group sample, length of participation in group was positively related to psychosocial adjustment and inversely related to psychological symptomatology. Neither participation by spouses in a support group, nor participation by patients and their spouses in a couples group, were related to adjustment.^ Hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed Repression-Sensitization scores as the best predictor of both psychosocial adjustment and psychological symptomatology. It was concluded that the role of repression-sensitization in adjustment may take several forms and is open to future investigation. ^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

LOUIS, ELINOR, "THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIAL SUPPORT AND GROUP PARTICIPATION TO PSYCHOSOCIAL ADJUSTMENT IN MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8615721.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8615721

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