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Regular version of the site
Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Anastasiia Onatskaia
Depression and Social Support
Applied Social Psychology
(Master’s programme)
2018
Social support is well known to have a negative effect on depression. However, relatively few studies focus on why social support is beneficial for mental health. Those who do, offer a few possible explanations for the relationship: (1) stress-buffering approach (enhancing coping performance and appraising life events as less stressful) and (2) behavioral change approach (health improvement through health-promoting behaviors: choosing a healthy diet and exercising). The stress-buffering approach is the only theoretical concept that has an empirical evidence, the behavioral change approach has never been examined before. Therefore, the current study is the first empirical test of the behavioral change approach, and it is also the first study that investigates more than one approach. The data (N=205) showed the main effect of social support on depression; however no significant results confirming either explanation of social support effectiveness were found. In the exploratory analysis, social support moderated the relationship between stress and depression for the group of participants that were not previously diagnosed with depression (no/no group); however failed to do the same in two other groups, consisted of participants who were previously diagnosed with depression, and did (yes/yes group) or did not (yes/no group) take medication at the moment of the study. Overall, I found very little evidence for suggested explanations of the relationship between social support and depression.

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