SOCIAL SUPPORT, STRESS, AND DEPRESSION: A PROSPECTIVE STUDY OF THE BUFFERING HYPOTHESIS

LORAINE M FERRARO, Fordham University

Abstract

The present study is a longitudinal analysis of the buffering hypothesis. This hypothesis suggests that social support mediates the deleterious effects of stress. The relationship among stress, social support and depression among resident hall undergraduate students was studied over a one month time period. Stress was defined by life events and daily hassles. Social support measures included both perceived measures of support and social network characteristics. Depression was measured by the Beck Depression Inventory.^ Conceptually, it was expected that stress would be positively related with depressive symptomatology while social support would be negatively related with depressive symptomatology. Furthermore, it is expected that the interaction of social support and stress would contribute significantly to the predication of depressive symptoms.^ Results lend strong support for both a buffering and a direct effect of perceived social support on depression in college students. Interestingly, social network characteristics were generally not related to depression. Apparently hassles are a better predictor of depression in college students than life events. Perceived social support, especially perceived support from friends, played a substantial role in maintaining the psychological health of undergraduates. Hassles, perceived social support and their interactions had an important causal role in depression. Primarily the clinical implications of the data suggests that the perception of support is an important aspect in the relationship between social support and psychological health. ^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

FERRARO, LORAINE M, "SOCIAL SUPPORT, STRESS, AND DEPRESSION: A PROSPECTIVE STUDY OF THE BUFFERING HYPOTHESIS" (1987). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8714588.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8714588

Share

COinS