Latest News on Social Support : May 2022


Assessing social support: The Social Support Questionnaire

Describes the Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ) and 4 empirical studies employing it. The SSQ yields scores for (a) perceived number of social supports and (b) satisfaction with social support that is available. Three studies (N = 1,224 college students) dealt with the SSQ’s psychometric properties, its correlations with measures of personality and adjustment, and the relation of the SSQ to positive and negative life changes. The 4th study (40 Ss) was an investigation of the relation between social support and persistence in working on a complex, frustrating task. The research reported suggests that the SSQ is a reliable instrument and that social support is (a) more strongly related to positive than negative life changes, (b) more related in a negative direction to psychological discomfort among women than men, and (c) an asset in enabling a person to persist at a task under frustrating conditions. Clinical implications are discussed. [1]

Social support: A review

Social support, which is the perception or experience that one is cared for, esteemed, and part of a mutually supportive social network, has beneficial effects on mental and physical health. We review the psychobiological pathways whereby these effects may occur and detail the circumstances under which socially supportive efforts may misfire. Origins of social support include genetic factors and the early environment. We examine gender and cultural differences in how social support is experienced. Under some circumstances, providing social support confers the same benefits as receiving it. A myriad number of social support interventions, including those delivered via the internet, have been evaluated and have the potential to provide emotional and informational support to people who might otherwise lack social support. [2]

Social support

Discusses the relationship between key dimensions of social support and health and well being in late life. Support constructs discussed include anticipated support and negative interaction. The conceptual framework of anticipated support is elaborated and extended by considering R. Schulz and J. Heckhausen’s (1996) life span model of successful aging, and the genesis of anticipated support is explored by highlighting the social factors that shape this dimension of social relationships in late life. Issues explored related to negative interaction include the effects of unpleasant social encounters, and the relationship between positive and negative interaction. The effects of social support in religious settings, and the relationship between SES and social support are also reviewed. [3]

A Negative Association between Social Support and Depression in the Elderly Population of Amirkola City

Introduction: Depression is one of the most common psychiatric disorders in old age. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between social support and depression in elderly population of Amirkola city, northern Iran. Also, a few studies have been conducted to determine whether there is any association between social support and depression in different cultural settings, e.g. in western countries.

Methodology: This cross sectional study came from the Amirkola Health and Ageing Project (AHAP), that was undertaken among 1612 older people aged 60 years and over (881 males and 731 females) in Amirkola. The sampling method was done using the census records. Depression was assessed via the shortened 15 item version of Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and social support measured by the shortened 11 item version of the Duke Social Support Index (DSSI).

Results: The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 43.4%. The mean social support score in the subjects without depressive symptoms was 28.32±2.79 which has been significantly higher than those with depressive symptoms 25.86±3.44. Linear regression analysis displays the variables in the final model like social support, age, gender, education, living status; social support was negatively the most associated variable with depression (β for social satisfaction= -0.245, P<0.001 and for social interaction 0 -0.199 P<0.001). Thus for the males, those who are younger, those who are more educated, those who are married and those who are employed, their social support scores were higher.

Conclusions: Lack of social support is negatively associated with depression in the elderly people in Iran.[4]

Social Support after Stroke: Influence of Source of Support on Stroke Survivors’ Health-Related Quality of Life

Introduction: Social support has often been identified as a key determinant of important stroke outcomes such as health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Information on the influence of the specific sources of social support on poststroke HRQoL is however scarce. This study examined the influence of social support received from family, friends and significant others on stroke survivors’ HRQoL.

Methods: One hundred consenting stroke survivors were purposively recruited from two tertiary hospitals in Northern Nigeria into this cross-sectional study. Data on the stroke survivors’ socio-demographic and stroke-related attributes were obtained. Perceived support from friends, family and significant others was assessed using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) while HRQoL was assessed using the Stroke-Specific Quality of Life-12 (SS-QoL-12) measure. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to identify the independent influence of the different sources of social support on HRQoL.

Results: Mean age of the stroke survivors was 51.39±13.52 years. None of the specific sources of social support had significant independent influence on overall and domain-specific HRQoL. Rather, overall social support, which represents the aggregate of support from each social support source, namely friends, family and significant others, had significant and independent positive influence on psychosocial (β = 0.74, P = 0.02) and overall (β = 0.56, P = 0.04) HRQoL.

Conclusion: The outcome of this study suggests that social support from a combination of sources (overall social support), rather than support from any particular source, significantly and positively influenced the HRQoL of stroke survivors.[5]


[1] Sarason, I.G., Levine, H.M., Basham, R.B. and Sarason, B.R., 1983. Assessing social support: the social support questionnaire. Journal of personality and social psychology, 44(1), p.127.

[2] Taylor, S.E., 2011. Social support: A review.

[3] Krause, N., 2001. Social support.

[4] Faramarzi, M., Hosseini, S.R., Cumming, R.G., Kheirkhah, F., Parsaei, F., Ghasemi, N. and Bijani, A., 2015. A negative association between social support and depression in the elderly population of Amirkola City. Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research, pp.707-716.

[5] Vincent-Onabajo, G.O., Muhammad, M.M., Ali, M.U., Masta, M.A. and Aliyu, H.N., 2016. Social support after stroke: Influence of source of support on stroke survivors’ health-related quality of life. International Neuropsychiatric Disease Journal, pp.1-9.

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