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The Stress-Buffering Hypothesis

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... În ultimele decenii, conceptul referitor la suport social a atras un interes din ce în ce mai mare din partea cercetătorilor care au subliniat beneficiile pe care această resursă oferită de rețeaua socială le aduce în planul sănătății fizice și mintale, precum și în cel al stării de bine a indivizilor de toate vârstele [8,11,20,23]. Literatura din domeniul științelor comportamentale prezintă o distincție conceptuală între suportul social efectiv primit și cel perceput [4,11]. Integrând cele două perspective teoretice, P. A. Thoits (2010) [26] oferă o definiție comprehensivă suportului social pe care îl conceptualizează prin asistența emoțională, informațională sau practică pe care o persoană o primește de la alte persoane din propria rețea socială sau pe care o percepe ca fiind disponibilă atunci când are nevoie de ea. ...
... Principala premisă care a stat la baza investigației a fost că percepția pe care un adolescent o are cu privire la disponibilitatea și calitatea suportului social pe care familia i-l oferă acționează ca un amortizor care reduce impactul negativ pe care anxietatea îl poate avea prin abuzul de alcool (Figura nr. 1). Ipoteza pe care am testat-o este o extensie a modelului amortizării stresului, potrivit căruia suportul social reduce posibilele efecte negative ale stresului psihic [8]. ...
... Consecințele dăunătoare pe care lipsa suportului social le are pentru funcționarea pozitivă a adolescenților sunt bine documentate și includ stresul psihic [3,5], anxietatea [5,22], depresia [3,4,28], dificultățile școlare [21,22], consumul de substanțe nociveinclusiv abuzul de alcool [13,18,25] ș.a. Există un consens asupra faptului că suportul social poate avea atât un impact direct pozitiv în planul sănătății fizice și mintale și în ceea ce privește starea de bine psihologică/socială a unei persoane, cât și un efect indirect prin amortizarea efectelor negative ale stresului psihic [8,28]. Ipoteza amortizării efectelor stresului a fost dovedită și în rândul adolescenților. ...
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In this article, the methodological framework and the results of a study is aimed at testing whether the social support of the family, which a teenager perceives as such, moderates the relationship between the specific symptoms of anxiety and the risk of alcohol abuse. The results we have obtained, suggests that social support from the family can help alleviate the risk of alcohol abuse among adolescents experiencing anxiety. In the context of current social, cultural and economic changes, as well as age-specific challenges, adolescence is seen as an insidious stage in the development of the human individual. For this reason, increased attention to the need for support can help prevent the risks to adolescents' physical and mental health, including the use of harmful substances.
... Social relationships and interactions with colleagues provide resources to help people cope with stressful situations (S. Cohen & Pressman, 2004;Fenlason & Beehr, 1994). Colleagues might show concern, listen sympathetically, or give tangible assistance, advice, or knowledge; they also can offer back-up, share work-related stories, and create a fun atmosphere (Fenlason & Beehr, 1994). ...
... Colleagues might show concern, listen sympathetically, or give tangible assistance, advice, or knowledge; they also can offer back-up, share work-related stories, and create a fun atmosphere (Fenlason & Beehr, 1994). They might propose solutions, minimize the importance of problems, and encourage healthy behaviors (S. Cohen & Pressman, 2004;House, 1981). Even the mere perception that others seem ready to help can reduce work stress (S. ...
... Cohen & Pressman, 2004;House, 1981). Even the mere perception that others seem ready to help can reduce work stress (S. Cohen & Pressman, 2004). Considering the clear evidence of the social underpinnings of stress, it is surprising that prior stress studies have not relied more on the concept of social capital, which highlights the "value of connections" (Borgatti & Foster, 2003, p. 993). ...
Article
Relationships with work colleagues can mitigate job stress; this article proposes a new perspective on such effects, in accordance with social capital theory, to delineate the potentially distinct impacts of the two dimensions of relational and structural social capital. A partial least squares analysis of network data in a medium-sized company (N = 343) offers evidence of an effect of the relational dimension (tie strength), through social support. The structural dimension (bridging ties, i.e. whether an employee has social ties with members of other departments) reveals a dual effect involving reduced stress but also diminished social support, which can increase stress. These dual effects reflect the two levels on which bridging ties act, namely, cognitive (selfdistancing) and social (marginalization from the immediate work context) levels. Next, with two scenario-based experiments (N = 289 and 245), the authors manipulate bridging ties and gain further evidence of the proposed mechanisms. These findings highlight the social underpinnings of stress and the critical role of the structure, not just the quality, of work relationships. They also identify a dark side of bridging ties, which can enhance individual performance but also create the potential for negative wellbeing outcomes.
... According to the Salutogenic Model (Antonovsky, 1987), social support is one of the most important general resistance resources, which could prompt people to perceive their lives as predictable, controllable, and understandable, thus performing more adaptively in stressful situations. Similarly, the buffering hypothesis (Cohen and Pressman, 2004) suggests that social support might mitigate the negative effects of risk factors on adjustment. Indeed, recent evidence has shown that social support buffered the detrimental effects of acute stress reaction on COVID-19 anxiety among Chinese people (Guo et al., 2020). ...
... Second, the finding that perceived social support moderated the relationship between loneliness and anxiety across three stages of the COVID-19 pandemic was consistent with the social support buffering hypothesis (Cohen and Pressman, 2004). At the pre-pandemic stage, lonely people's maladaptive social attention, cognition, and emotion may contribute to high chronic anxiety in daily life (the pre-pandemic stage; Hawkley and Cacioppo, 2010). ...
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The isolation necessary to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can give rise to anxiety, especially for lonely people who often feel upset without others' company. Although isolated from others, people can still receive support from others, which might lower their COVID-19 anxiety. To examine the relationship between loneliness, perceived social support, and anxiety, we measured 222 Chinese participants' (54.50% female, M age = 31.53, SD = 8.17) trait loneliness, chronic anxiety before the outbreak, COVID-19 anxiety at the peak and decline stages of COVID-19, and their perceived social support across the three time points. The results showed that people's perceived social support dramatically increased from the pre-pandemic to the peak COVID-19 stage, and remained stable during the decline of COVID-19 stage. In contrast, COVID-19 anxiety decreased from the peak to the decline stage. Further, perceived social support consistently moderated the relationship between loneliness with both chronic anxiety and COVID-19 anxiety. The current study provides initial evidence that perceived social support provides protection for lonely people in daily life as well as during unexpected disasters, which will contribute to finding ways to alleviate lonely people's anxiety during this global health crisis.
... Informal care can have significant impacts on older people's mental health. The stress-buffering model suggests that the perception that others can provide help with daily tasks may redefine the potential stress posed by decline in health, bolster older people's perceived ability to cope with daily activities, sustains confidence in their ability in face of challenges, and prevent psychological distress and depression (Cohen & Pressman, 2004). The receipt of informal care also produces positive effects on mental health by companionship. ...
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Population aging has become a global challenge. Drawing data from Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey 2008, 2011, and 2014, this study examines the effect of informal care receipt on functional limitations and depressive symptoms among older people in China using lagged fixed effects model. Our findings suggest that receiving informal care is significantly associated with a slower functional decline. We also find that this effect varies across different income groups. The protective effect of informal care is more pronounced among older people with higher income compared to those with lower income. We do not observe any significant associations between receiving informal care and depressive symptoms of older people. This study highlights a pressing need for the Chinese government to establish a comprehensive long-term care system.
... A promising approach in this regard could be the stress-buffering hypothesis (Cassel, 1976;Cobb, 1976;Cohen & Willls, 1985), which states that social resources can mitigate the effects of stressful events (see Cohen & Pressman, 2004). As learned helplessness involves the exposure of students to uncontrollable stressors at school, the teacherstudent relationship, together with a student's sense of school belonging, could be protective factors that prevent or intervene in the development of learned helplessness. ...
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Background. Based on learned helplessness theory and conservation of resources theory, the present study explores the role of schools’ social environments (i.e., school belonging, school exclusion, and teacher–student relationships) as potential buffers and amplifiers in students’ development of learned helplessness during adolescence. Aims. We examine whether school belonging, school exclusion, and teacher–student relationship moderate the longitudinal association of learned helplessness differently for students from low-track schools and high-track schools. Sample. The study uses a sample of N = 1,088 (Mage = 13.70, SD = 0.53; 54% girls) adolescent students who participated in a two-wave longitudinal study. Methods. We conducted latent moderated structural equation modelling to examine whether school belonging, school exclusion, and teacher–student relationship moderate the longitudinal association of learned helplessness differently for students from low- track schools and high-track schools. Results. The moderation analyses revealed that students from both school tracks are differently affected by school belonging and school exclusion in their development of learned helplessness. Teacher–student relationship did not moderate the association. Conclusion. Our findings underline the important role of the social environment in students’ development of learned helplessness. Particularly, the differential effects found for the different educational tracks highlight the necessary awareness of educators to interindividual differences of their students.
... Social support, broadly defined as "support accessible to an individual through social ties to other individuals, groups, and the larger community" (Lin et al., 1979;p. 108), has been conceptualized as emotional support (e.g., exchange of empathy, concern, affection, love, trust, acceptance, intimacy, companionship, or encouragement), instrumental support (e.g., sharing of tasks or responsibilities), and informational support (e.g., sharing suggestions, advice) that may help an individual adapt to stressful life events and promote psychological health (Barrera, 1986;Cohen & Hoberman, 1983;Cohen & Pressman, 2004). Social support has been closely linked to psychological well-being in samples of Active Duty spouses who are parents (Green et al., 2013) and among civilian mothers of young children (Balaji et al., 2007). ...
Article
The adverse effects of deployment-related stress (DRS) on military service members, spouses, and children are well documented. Findings from a recent Consensus Report on Military Families by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (2019) underscore the priority of gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the diversity of today's military families and their needs and well-being. While social support is generally regarded as helpful during times of stress, it has not been studied extensively in National Guard/Reserve spouses who are parents of young children. This qualitative study of 30 women examines the unique ways in which DRS affects women who are National Guard/Reserve spouses and mothers of young children, as well as the processes through which they encountered support to manage these stressors. Salient themes spanned experiences involving deployment cycle phases of separation and reintegration and included both anticipated and unanticipated changes in family-related division of labor, dynamics, and communication patterns. These were complicated by geographic, social, and cultural isolation and misguided efforts to support spouses initiated by civilians. Women managed these stressors primarily through seeking, acquiring, and repurposing existing sources of informal social support for themselves and formal supports for their children, with varying degrees of success.
... The findings demonstrated a significant increase in social support from friends and families from the first year continuing through to years 3 and 4. Social relationships and support have been identified as one of the most important aspects of psychological wellbeing (Rubin et al., 1998) because they act as a stress buffer. Having someone to discuss problems with may generate solutions and elicit necessary resources which, in turn, alleviate the impact of stressors or reduce the perceived salience of the stressors (Cohen and Pressman, 2004). ...
Article
Purpose Emotional distress, which includes stress, anxiety and depression, is considered a substantial mental health problem among university students because of its effects on academic achievement and well-being. The purpose of this paper is to examine levels of emotional distress, self-esteem, social support and coping methods and predicted emotional distress in undergraduate students across year levels in two semesters. Design/methodology/approach A cross-sectional study was conducted in a regional university with 117 and 118 students, respectively, the majority of whom were from the Faculty of Science. Announcements posted on the university website in two semesters were used to recruit convenience samples of participants who completed a battery of four self-administered questionnaires online. Findings Findings showed significant differences across year levels for emotional distress total (F(2, 107)=3.90, p =0.02), and social support total (F(2, 107)=3.57, p =0.03), especially in semester 1. Almost all maladaptive coping approaches led to risk of heightened emotional distress in both semester cohorts, ranging from using self-distraction (adjusted OR=4.54) to denial (adjusted OR=32.05). Interestingly, the use of active coping and high self-esteem appeared as risk factors rather than protective factors for mental distress, adjusted ORs=11.27 and 8.46, respectively. Originality/value Although adaptive coping skills did not alleviate students’ mental distress, encouraging students to use adaptive coping and social support may help students face the challenges of university life.
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Several theories of the life course highlight the importance of social connections and ties for coping with transitions that occur at different ages. Individuals rely on family, friends, and colleagues to adapt to these transitions which may in turn change the composition of their networks. Yet, little is known about the association between life cycle transitions and changes in network characteristics. We used fixed effects regression models with three waves of egocentric network data from the UC Berkeley Social Network Study (UCNets) to examine how career- and family-related life cycle transitions during two key life stages—young adulthood and the transition from middle to old age—are associated with network turnover, the proportion of the network comprised of kin, and confidence in receiving support from personal networks. Younger adults experienced churn following a birth and marriage or partnership, while no life transition was associated with changes in proportion kin, and only with the birth of a child did confidence decline. Among older adults, no transition was associated with any measured event, suggesting that older adults maintain more stable relationships compared to young adults and can weather life events without significant disruptions to their networks.
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The present study investigated patterns of adolescent life changes across multiple life domains and utilized a holistic-interactionistic perspective to examine their individual, familial, and societal correlates with a sample of 2544 Chinese parent-adolescent dyads. Adolescents were aged from 10 to 19 years old (50.16% girls). Latent profile analysis revealed five life change profiles, including three improved profiles at various degrees, one unchanged profile, and one worsened profile. The majority of adolescents had an improved or unchanged life. Multinomial logistic regression analyses found that most of the individual, familial, and societal factors predicted the group memberships. Notably, parent-adolescent conflict was a significant factor that predicted memberships of all patterns. These findings show the resilience of adolescents and indicate the need for policies and interventions that consider the holistic nature of adolescents’ person-context system, especially during a global crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
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It is well established that graduate students face large amounts of stress during their education. Despite this, little research has focused on factors that can help this high stress population maintain well-being in the face of numerous challenges. One potentially important but neglected probable wellness determinant is the advisor-student relationship. This study explored to what extent advisor and department characteristics related to advisor selection are associated with student well-being and examined whether a positive advisor-advisee relationship can reduce the negative effects of stress on student well-being. Four hundred and forty-six graduate students from Ph.D. programs across the United States completed an online survey asking advising-related questions as well as assessments of stress, physical health, psychological well-being, and demographics. Results indicated that higher faculty advisor satisfaction was associated with reports of higher positive affect, lower negative affect, and better sleep efficiency, but slightly worse health compared to a year prior to survey. Additionally, high quality advisor-student relationships and greater control over switching advisors were associated with less affective disruption under high stress indicating possible stress buffering effects. Together, these results indicate that advisor-advisee relationships in graduate training may be an important future area of intervention and focus for campus well-being.
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