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Altruistic Social Interest Behaviors Are Associated With Better Mental Health

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Abstract

This study investigated whether altruistic social interest behaviors such as engaging in helping others were associated with better physical and mental health in a stratified random sample of 2016 members of the Presbyterian Church throughout the United States. Mailed questionnaires evaluated giving and receiving help, prayer activities, positive and negative religious coping, and self-reported physical and mental health. Multivariate regression analysis revealed no association between giving or receiving help and physical functioning, although the sample was highly skewed toward high physical functioning. Both helping others and receiving help were significant predictors of mental health, after adjusting for age, gender, stressful life events, income, general health, positive and negative religious coping, and asking God for healing (R2 =.27). Giving help was a more important predictor of better reported mental health than receiving help, and feeling overwhelmed by others' demands was an independent predictor of worse mental health in the adjusted model. Significant predictors of giving help included endorsing more prayer activities, higher satisfaction with prayer life, engaging in positive religious coping, age, female gender, and being a church elder. Frequency of prayer and negative religious coping were not related to giving help. Helping others is associated with higher levels of mental health, above and beyond the benefits of receiving help and other known psychospiritual, stress, and demographic factors. The links between these findings and response shift theory are discussed, and implications for clinical interventions and future research are described.

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... Taking care of others is a common part of adult life, particularly as parents. For many, helping others benefits their own health-related quality of life (HRQOL) [1], providing a greater sense of purpose in life [2,3], enhancing mental health [4,5] and, among females, enhancing physical health [5,6]. When helping others becomes less occasional and develops into a time-and energydemanding long-term role, then the "caregiving" can become a burden. ...
... Taking care of others is a common part of adult life, particularly as parents. For many, helping others benefits their own health-related quality of life (HRQOL) [1], providing a greater sense of purpose in life [2,3], enhancing mental health [4,5] and, among females, enhancing physical health [5,6]. When helping others becomes less occasional and develops into a time-and energydemanding long-term role, then the "caregiving" can become a burden. ...
... Occupational complexity was assessed using questions querying the job that was closest to the respondent's current or past occupation, which were then scored for complexity using the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) system [52]. Under this comprehensive, in-depth job-classification system, scores range from low complexity [1] to high complexity [5]), with higher scores reflecting more training and skills required to perform that occupation [53]. Some caregivers were unemployed and/or never employed because of their caregiving responsibilities, and they were assigned an O*NET value of "2" reflecting their role as caregiver. ...
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Background This study examined the impact of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) on family-member caregivers in terms of quality of life, life stress, and indirect costs, as compared to a stratified comparison group of parents of similar-age children without DMD. Methods A web-based survey included DMD caregivers and a nationally representative comparison group of parents of children without DMD stratified by Child Age Group. Outcomes included quality of life, resilience, caregiver impact, stressful life events, financial strain, out-of-pocket expenditures, work productivity and unrealized ambitions. General linear models assessed the main effect of Caregiver Group and the interaction of Caregiver Group with Child-Age-Group, after adjusting for demographic covariates. Results Compared to parents without a DMD child, DMD Caregivers reported better physical health but worse mental health, positive affect/well-being, environmental mastery, difficulty paying bills, and more hours missed from work. Providing caregiving support for DMD teenagers was the most challenging. DMD caregivers curtailed their educational and professional ambitions, and modified their homes to accommodate the disability associated with DMD. Their non-DMD children had to make sacrifices as well. Nonetheless, in resilience and life stress, DMD caregivers were comparable to the comparison group, and showed consistent levels of positive emotions across the age of their DMD child. Conclusion DMD caregivers fared worse on most outcomes and faced more hurdles in work life. They face constraints and hidden costs that impact their health and financial well-being. Caregivers of teenagers with DMD reported higher impact. Nonetheless, parents of DMD children of all ages maintained notable resilience and positivity.
... Studies have indicated that civic engagement is associated with higher well-being and lower distress (see Musick & Wilson, 2003;Schwartz, Meisenhelder, Ma, & Reed, 2003;Thoits & Hewitt, 2001). For example, Thoits and Hewitt (2001) found that engaging in volunteer work enhanced life satisfaction and lowered depression. ...
... For example, Thoits and Hewitt (2001) found that engaging in volunteer work enhanced life satisfaction and lowered depression. Other studies found that anxiety and distress were lower among youth engaged in helping and volunteering activities (Schwartz et al., 2003). Studies Curr Psychol have also found positive relationships between participation in political processes and well-being (Julian, Reisch, Carrick, & Katrenich, 1997). ...
Article
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Although decades of economic growth in many parts of the world have created materially abundant societies, their ability to meet the subjective well-being needs and decrease the psychological distress of people is far from reality. Given that a greater emphasis is being placed on the social, environmental, and governmental factors that promote well-being and decrease distress, and considering that Taiwan is not an exception in this regard, this research project made use of the data from the national survey to investigate the role of social, civic, and governmental aspects in the life satisfaction and psychological distress of people in Taiwan. In addition to suggesting significant correlations, regression analyses indicated that the predictor variables significantly contributed to life satisfaction and psychological distress. Confidence in the government was the strongest predictor of life satisfaction, whereas the lack of healthy relationships was the strongest contributor to distress. These significant results suggest the importance of the role of both social dimensions and democratic government in mitigating distress and enhancing the life satisfaction of its citizens.
... Across the world, spending money on others (Aknin et al., 2013(Aknin et al., , 2020 and volunteering (Borgonovi, 2008;Meier & Stutzer, 2008;Post, 2005;Thoits & Hewitt, 2001;) can improve wellbeing. Volunteering and helping are also associated with lower rates of anxiety and depression (Hunter & Linn, 1981;Musick & Wilson, 2003;Schwartz et al., 2003), morbidity (Brown et al., 2005) and mortality (Moen et al., 1989;Musick et al., 1999;Oman et al., 1999;). ...
... Even altruism toward non-human animals can provide mutual benefits for both the people and animals involved (for a review, see Dizon et al., 2007). The idea of prescribing altruism comes with caveats--altruistic acts are more likely to have health benefits for givers if they have feelings of autonomy (Weinstein & Ryan, 2010) and social connection (Aknin et al., 2013), and are not overtaxing (Schwartz et al., 2003); likewise, prescribing altruistic acts will have greater impact on society if people are given information on how to donate time or money to effective organizations. ...
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Although many psychologists are interested in making the world a better place through their work, they are often unable to have the impact that they would like. Here, we suggest that both individuals and psychology as a field can better improve human welfare by incorporating ideas from Effective Altruism, a growing movement whose members aim to do the most good by using science and reason to inform their efforts. In this paper, we first provide a brief introduction to Effective Altruism and review important principles that can be applied to how psychologists approach their careers, such as the ITN framework (Importance, Tractability, and Neglectedness). Next, we review how effective altruism can inform how individuals approach their roles as teachers, clinicians, researchers, mentors, and participants in the non-academic world. Finally, we close with a discussion of ideas for how psychology, as a field, can increase its positive impact. By applying insights from effective altruism to psychological science, we aim to integrate new theoretical frameworks into psychological science, stimulate new areas of research, start a discussion on how psychology can maximize its impact, and inspire the psychology community to do the most good.
... [111, p. 165]. Research has found that both giving and receiving help can lead to better mental health [86], which suggests that altruistic behaviors on OHCs could have a positive influence on patients coping with health conditions. Schwartz et al. [86] found that giving help was more beneficial to mental health than receiving it, but only up to a point where others' demands became overwhelming. ...
... Research has found that both giving and receiving help can lead to better mental health [86], which suggests that altruistic behaviors on OHCs could have a positive influence on patients coping with health conditions. Schwartz et al. [86] found that giving help was more beneficial to mental health than receiving it, but only up to a point where others' demands became overwhelming. Giving social support has even been found to reduce mortality [10]. ...
Article
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Exchanging social support on online health communities (OHCs) can be beneficial to people's health, but the OHC characteristics that promote environments in which users feel socially supported are understudied. We develop a model that examines the mediating influence of OHC cohesiveness, altruism, and universality on the relationships between active and passive use and received OHC social support. Our findings indicate that social support can be derived from both active and passive use of the OHC. Although active use can directly stimulate received OHC social support, the relationship between passive use and social support is fully mediated by OHC group dynamics.
... Furthermore, as a by-product, support providers lighten their stress when they shift their focus away from their own suffering as they attempt to help others, while they also simultaneously gain a sense of purpose from their acts of helping [29]. In addition, past studies have recorded improvements in psychological well-being (purpose in life, personal growth, and life satisfaction) alongside other health outcomes as a result of providing emotional support [35,36]. Given these well-documented benefits, a set of hypotheses for this study reads as follows: ...
... However, emotional support reception did not play such a role between group interaction and psychological well-being variables, suggesting that solely receiving support does not ensure positive psychological outcomes, further supporting the helper principle [56]. The significant mediating role of emotional support provision corroborates empirical evidence in previous literature, which emphasizes an undeniable positive role of emotional support provision in enhancing psychological well-being [36,57]. In particular, the helper therapy principle explains that being a helper enhances one's psychological well-being by improving one's self-image, distracting attention from one's own problems, providing status in the mutual aid group, receiving support as a reward [29,33], and, most importantly, mitigating the negative effects of receiving support by reducing the feeling of indebtedness [58]. ...
Article
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While it is well-established that mutual aid groups are effective in the psychological rehabilitation of vulnerable individuals, few studies have thoroughly investigated the dynamic mechanism of how psychological well-being improves through mutual aid groups of young patients with chronic health conditions. In connection with several existing theories (i.e., the helper therapy principle, equity theory, the norm of reciprocity, and the concept of communal relationships), this study aims to: (1) evaluate whether emotional support exchanges (i.e., emotional support reception and provision) mediate the relationship between group interaction and psychological well-being; and (2) compare three potential underlying mechanisms—the mediating role of emotional support provision, equitable reciprocity (i.e., a balance of receiving and providing emotional support, where no party over-benefits or under-benefits), and sequential reciprocity (i.e., repaying the helper or a third party in the future after receiving help)—through a path analysis model. A stratified random sampling procedure with chronic health conditions as the stratifying criterion was used to recruit 391 individuals aged 12–45 years from mutual aid groups in Hong Kong, who completed both the baseline and follow-up surveys over a 12-month interval. The results of the path model revealed significant mediating roles of emotional support provision and sequential reciprocity, not equitable reciprocity. The present study offers theoretical and practical implications for promoting the psychological well-being of young patients with chronic health conditions.
... Across the world, spending money on others (Aknin et al., 2013(Aknin et al., , 2020 and volunteering (Borgonovi, 2008;Meier & Stutzer, 2008;Post, 2005;Thoits & Hewitt, 2001) can improve well-being. Volunteering and helping are also associated with lower rates of anxiety and depression (Hunter & Linn, 1981;Musick & Wilson, 2003;Schwartz et al., 2003), morbidity (Brown et al., 2005), and mortality (Moen et al., 1989;Musick et al., 1999;Oman et al., 1999). Even altruism toward nonhuman animals can provide mutual benefits for both the people and animals involved (for a review, see Dizon et al., 2007). ...
... Even altruism toward nonhuman animals can provide mutual benefits for both the people and animals involved (for a review, see Dizon et al., 2007). The idea of prescribing altruism comes with caveats-altruistic acts are more likely to have health benefits for givers if they have feelings of autonomy (Weinstein & Ryan, 2010) and social connection (Aknin et al., 2013) and are not overtaxing (Schwartz et al., 2003); likewise, prescribing altruistic acts will have a greater impact on society if people are given information on how to donate time or money to effective organizations. ...
Article
Although many psychologists are interested in making the world a better place through their work, they are often unable to have the impact that they would like. Here, we suggest that both individuals and psychology as a field can better improve human welfare by incorporating ideas from effective altruism, a growing movement whose members aim to do the most good by using science and reason to inform their efforts. In this article, we first briefly introduce effective altruism and review important principles that can be applied to how psychologists approach their work, such as the importance, tractability, and neglectedness framework. We then review how effective altruism can inform individual psychologists’ choices. Finally, we close with a discussion of ideas for how psychology, as a field, can increase its positive impact. By applying insights from effective altruism to psychological science, we aim to integrate a new theoretical framework into psychological science, stimulate new areas of research, start a discussion on how psychology can maximize its impact, and inspire the psychology community to do the most good.
... Choosing a proactive, other-centered approach can also help one to maintain a sense of optimism and agency [13,14] in the COVID context. Research on altruism has documented clear mental-health bene ts in general-population adults and teens [15,16] and patient populations [6][7][8]. It has also documented physical-health bene ts among females [15][16][17]. ...
... Research on altruism has documented clear mental-health bene ts in general-population adults and teens [15,16] and patient populations [6][7][8]. It has also documented physical-health bene ts among females [15][16][17]. Altruistic behaviors have been posited to allow one to focus outside one's personal concerns, and thereby get a sense of perspective and even gratitude about one's own life challenges and resources [13,18]. With COVID, a new set of ways of helping others emerges, including bringing food or medicine to others at greater risk than oneself, donating blood or money, helping with childcare, and reaching out to provide friendship and/or emotional support. ...
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PurposeThis study evaluated the differential impact of stressors and psychosocial resources on quality-of-life (QOL) outcomes, and investigated whether attitudes, perspectives, and behaviors relevant to wellness protect one from the negative and positive aspects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID) pandemic.Methods This cross-sectional study done Spring/Summer 2020 recruited patients and caregivers of people with chronic medical conditions, and a nationally representative comparison sample of United States adults. Linear regression investigated the associations between COVID-specific variables and QOL outcomes, after covariate adjustment. Structural Equation Modeling investigated whether the links between Resilience and COVID-specific variables were mediated by attitudes, perspectives, and behaviors relevant to wellness.ResultsThe sample seemed knowledgeable of and adherent to the practices endorsed by public-health experts. COVID-specific Hardship, Interpersonal Conflict, and Worry were associated with worse QOL outcomes, and Growth, Social Support, and Coping were associated with better. Wellness was the most salient predictor of Resilience, functioning both as a main effect and mediator for COVID-specific predictors. People with lower levels of Worry and/or higher levels of Social Support tended to have better-than-expected daily performance in the face of the pandemic. These two predictors acted in large part through the attitudes, perspectives, and behaviors relevant to Wellness.ConclusionOur findings support the idea that cultivating Wellness by dint of one’s perspective, attitudes, and behaviors can be an important buffer to challenging times during a pandemic. Wellness seems to support resilience in its own right in addition to being a mechanism through which other factors can do so.
... Moreover, the mean score of compassion satisfaction in the present study was relatively greater than the mean score of nurses' compassion satisfaction in studies conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic 22,40 . This contradiction may be due to the fact that individuals experience good feelings when they see that their services are bene cial to others, particularly in critical conditions 41,42 . ...
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Background: Nurses’ direct and continuous contact with patients afflicted by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes them stress due to fear over affliction and reduces their professional quality of life (PQOL). Resilience has potential protective effects against different stressors. This study aimed to assess resilience and its relationship with occupational stress (OS) and PQOL among nurses in COVID-19 isolation wards. Methods: This descriptive-analytical study was conducted in 2020. Participants were nurses in the COVID-19 isolation wards of healthcare centers affiliated to Khoy University of Medical Sciences, Khoy, Iran. In total, 158 eligible nurses were recruited through a census. Data were collected using a researcher-made demographic questionnaire, the short version of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, the Nursing Stress Scale, and the PQOL Scale. Data analysis was performed using the SPSS software (v. 16.) and through the independent-sample t test, one-way analysis of variance, Pearson’s correlation analysis, and linear regression analysis. Results: The total mean scores of resilience and OS were 26.19±6.2 (in the possible range of 0–40) and 73.3±14.5 (in the possible range of 34–136), respectively. The mean scores of the compassion satisfaction, job burnout, and secondary traumatic stress dimensions of PQOL were respectively 38.02±8.16, 30.84±5.45, and 27.66±6.13, (all in the possible range of 10–50). Most participants experienced moderate OS (57.9%). The mean scores of participants’ resilience and OS had no significant relationship with their demographic characteristics (P > 0.05). Resilience had significant negative relationship with OS (r = –0.376, P < 0.001) and significant positive relationship with the compassion satisfaction dimension of PQOL (r = 0.373; P < 0.001). Resilience was also a significant predictor of OS and the compassion satisfaction dimension of PQOL (P < 0.001). Conclusion: Nurses’ OS can be reduced through resilience-promoting strategies such as development of their social support network, improvement of their optimism, and provision of resilient role models and quality resilience-related education.
... 13 Online mindfulness programs may also reduce burnout in healthcare workers, 14 are accessible from home, and may provide unique benefits in a socially-distanced world transformed by Times of crisis can promote prosocial behavior and a sense of community; 15 helping others can benefit both the helped and the helper by providing meaning, improving mental health, and mitigating the negative effects of stress. 16,17 This study was inspired by "Mindfulness for Milan," a program in which an Italian physician (LG) led free daily mindfulness sessions as part of a larger public health response designed to educate the public and manage stress and anxiety during the lockdown period. 15 This prospective, single-arm, non-randomized clinical trial aimed to 1) examine the helpfulness and platform effectiveness of a single virtual mindfulness session for reducing momentary stress, anxiety, and concern about COVID-19 in patients with migraine, healthcare workers, and the public; 2) identify modalities of service to others during COVID-19; and 3) evaluate the quantity, quality, and availability of online mindfulness resources across time during the pandemic. ...
Article
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Background The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected mental health, creating an urgent need for convenient and safe interventions to improve well-being. Online mindfulness interventions show promise for improving depression, anxiety, and general well-being. Objective To assess: 1) the impact of online mindfulness on psychological distress, 2) altruistic efforts, and 3) the quantity, quality, and availability of online mindfulness resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods 233 participants (203 U.S.; 20 international; 10 unknown) participated in this prospective, single-arm, non-randomized clinical trial of a single online mindfulness meditation session with pre- and post-surveys. Main Outcome Measures (a) Mindfulness session helpfulness, online platform effectiveness, and immediate pre- to post-session changes in momentary stress, anxiety, and COVID-19 concern; (b) qualitative themes representing how people are helping others during the pandemic; (c) absolute changes in quantity of mindfulness-oriented web content and free online mindfulness resource availability from May to August 2020. Results Most participants felt the online mindfulness session was helpful and the electronic platform effective for practicing mindfulness (89%, 95% CI: [82 to 93%]), with decreased momentary anxiety (76%; 95% CI: [69 to 83%]), stress (80%; [72 to 86%]), and COVID-19 concern (55%; [46 to 63%]), (p < 0.001 for each measure). Participants reported helping others in a variety of ways during the pandemic, including following public health guidelines, conducting acts of service and connection, and helping oneself in hopes of helping others. “Mindfulness + COVID” search results increased by 52% from May to August 2020. Most (73%) Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health member websites offer free online mindfulness resources. Conclusions Virtual mindfulness is an increasingly accessible intervention available world-wide that may reduce psychological distress during this isolating public health crisis. Kindness and altruism are being demonstrated during the pandemic. The consolidated online mindfulness resources provided may help guide clinicians and patients.
... after being prompted experimentally report increases in wellbeing (Chancellor et al., 2018;Dunn et al., 2008;Meier & Stutzer, 2008;Schwartz et al., 2003;Sheldon et al., 2012). Interestingly, merely recalling or reporting prior acts of kindness by listing or describing what one did can be as effective at increasing well-being as actually performing them (Ko et al., 2019;cf. ...
Article
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Recent theory suggests that members of interdependent (collectivist) cultures prioritize in-group happiness, whereas members of independent (individualist) cultures prioritize personal happiness (Uchida et al. Journal of Happiness Studies, 5(3), 223-239 Uchida et al., 2004). Thus, the well-being of friends and family may contribute more to the emotional experience of individuals with collectivist rather than individualist identities. We tested this hypothesis by asking participants to recall a kind act they had done to benefit either close others (e.g., family members) or distant others (e.g., strangers). Study 1 primed collectivist and individualist cultural identities by asking bicultural undergraduates (N = 357) from Hong Kong to recall kindnesses towards close versus distant others in both English and Chinese, while Study 2 compared university students in the USA (n = 106) and Hong Kong (n = 93). In Study 1, after being primed with the Chinese language (but not after being primed with English), participants reported significantly improved affect valence after recalling kind acts towards friends and family than after recalling kind acts towards strangers. Extending this result, in Study 2, respondents from Hong Kong (but not the USA) who recalled kind acts towards friends and family showed higher positive affect than those who recalled kind acts towards strangers. These findings suggest that people with collectivist cultural identities may have relatively more positive and less negative emotional experiences when they focus on prosocial interactions with close rather than weak ties. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s42761-020-00029-3.
... Experimental research has shown that those with fewer resources are more generous than those with more resources (Miller, Kahle & Hastings, 2015). Furthermore, opportunities for altruism and participation in the community are beneficial to one's psychological well-being (Schwartz, Meisenhelder, Ma & Reed, 2003), including well-being of PWUDs. One of the more insidious aspects of economic inequality is the unequal opportunity to engage in altruism due to having fewer resources to share. ...
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People who use drugs, and particularly people experiencing addiction, are rarely afforded the opportunity to have their voices heard when it comes to drug treatment or drug policy or even when attempting to define themselves and their life experiences. Of course, there is much more to a person than one area of their behaviour. The current study seeks to capture and understand the lived experiences of people who use drugs, with a focus on their relationships and helping behaviour. We interviewed 32 participants in a harm reduction program seeking to provide understanding beyond stigmatizing and criminalizing drug narratives, by exploring their motivation and context for helping behav- iours. Grounded theory methodology was used to under- stand the patterns of helping behaviour, along with the contexts in which help is or is not given. We particularly focus on participants' distribution of syringes and carrying medicine to reverse overdose (naloxone). Participants shared stories of altruism and mutual aid, along with barriers and disincentives to helping others. We situate these behaviours within contrasting environments of a free harm reduction program and the competitive market system of the U.S. society. Implications for practice and public pol- icy are discussed.
... For example, volunteering can make individuals better cope with psychological stress [64] and reduce depression symptoms [65]. Volunteers tend to have a higher level of mental health [66], and as such can experience greater happiness [67,68] and life satisfaction [69,70]. ...
Article
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The issue of environmental protection and sustainable development is a key research focus across multiple fields. Employee green behavior is considered to be an important micro-activity to address this. Researchers in the field of organizational behavior and sustainable development have been focusing on the influencing factors of employee green behavior. However, few have explored the beneficial effects of employee green behavior on behavioral implementers. The objective of this study is to investigate the relationships among employee green behavior, self-esteem, perceived organizational support for employee environmental efforts, and employee well-being, and to explore a new dimension of employee green behavior. We empirically examined the underlying framework by conducting two surveys to collect data from 900 employees working in manufacturing, construction, and the service industry in China. We performed multilevel path analysis using SPSS and AMOS software, and confirmed that employee green behavior includes four dimensions: green learning, individual practice, influencing others, and organizational voices. Further, employee green behavior has a significant positive impact on self-esteem, which in turn is converted into employee well-being. Finally, perceived organizational support for employee environmental efforts not only positively moderated the relationship between employee green behavior and self-esteem, but was also confirmed as a moderated mediation model. This study enriches the current literature on the measurement framework and variables of employee green behavior.
... Por otra parte, otros estudios han mostrado que el comportamiento altruista puede tener beneficios indirectos para el individuo emisor, lo cual permite inferir que su valor adaptativo no se remonta solamente al beneficio para el grupo social. Schwartz, Meisenhelder y Reed (2003) mostraron, por ejemplo, que el altruismo se comportó como predictor de altos niveles de salud mental, superando a otras variables como las prácticas espirituales o recibir ayuda de otros. Por otra parte, Abelson et al., ...
... Por otra parte, otros estudios han mostrado que el comportamiento altruista puede tener beneficios indirectos para el individuo emisor, lo cual permite inferir que su valor adaptativo no se remonta solamente al beneficio para el grupo social. Schwartz, Meisenhelder y Reed (2003) mostraron, por ejemplo, que el altruismo se comportó como predictor de altos niveles de salud mental, superando a otras variables como las prácticas espirituales o recibir ayuda de otros. Por otra parte, Abelson et al., ...
... The pandemic has also increased the visibility of the work of nurses, showing society the need for highly qualified, specialized professionals, elements that have been considered necessary to improve the social image of the nursing profession (Hoeve et al., 2014). Thus, in line with Schwartz et al. (2003), nurses derive satisfaction from working hard and seeing others benefit from their own efforts. This, which could be applicable to physicians, may have been attenuated in their case for two reasons. ...
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The coronavirus pandemic has exposed healthcare professionals to suffering and stressful working conditions. The aim of this study was to analyze professional quality of life among healthcare professionals and its relationship with empathy, resilience, and self-compassion during the COVID-19 crisis in Spain. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 506 healthcare professionals, who participated by completing an online questionnaire. A descriptive correlational analysis was performed. A multivariate regression analysis and a decision tree were used to identify the variables associated with professional quality of life. Empathy, resilience, and mindfulness were the main predictors of compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction, and burnout, respectively.
... 51,52 On the other hand, other studies showed that caring as a part of resilience against stress helps overcome depression. 47,53 Some people find meaning by contributing to society, providing for their families, or striving for worthy workrelated goals. 54 Therefore, care-giving behavior and related meaning in a stressful situation may provide the strength to cope with and tolerate depression. ...
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Objective: The present study aimed to explore how the patterns of interaction between stress and positive resources differ according to the severity of depression and which resources play the most important role among the various positive resources. Methods: The study included 1,806 people who had visited a health screening center for a mental health check-up to evaluate the levels of perceived stress, positive resources, and depressive symptoms. The participants were divided into a depressive group (n=1,642, mean age 50.60, female 68%) and a non-depressive group (n=164, mean age 48.42, female 66.6%). We conducted hierarchical regression analyses and simple slope analyses to examine the interaction between perceived stress and positive resources. Results: The interaction between perceived stress and optimism was significantly associated with depression in non-depressive groups. In depressive groups, the interactions between five types of positive resources (optimism, purpose in life, self-control, social support and care) and perceived stress were all significantly related to depression. Conclusion: Interventions that promote optimism can be helpful for preventing inevitable stress from leading to depression. A deficiency in positive resources may be a factor in aggravating depression in stressful situations for people reporting moderate to severe depressive symptoms.
... (Coker et al., 2002). effet, recevoir de l'aide et aider les autres a des effets positifs sur la santé mentale en général (Schwartz et al., 2003), chez les personnes avec des troubles psychologiques tout comme chez les personnes sans (Caron & Guay, 2006). Le manque de soutien social est associé à un risque de développer des symptômes dépressifs (Wade & Kendler, 2000). ...
Technical Report
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Pourquoi certaines personnes sont-elles en bonne santé mentale, et pourquoi cette bonne santé peut-elle parfois se détériorer ? Pourquoi certaines personnes sont, temporairement ou de façon permanente, en mauvaise santé mentale ? En d’autres termes, d’où proviennent une bonne ou une mauvaise santé mentale ? C’est une interaction complexe de facteurs individuels et collectifs qui façonnent notre état psychologique et notre bien-être. Un état qui évolue et change tout au long de la vie. Cette synthèse inédite des déterminants de la santé mentale fait le point, de la manière la plus exhaustive possible, sur l’impact que tous ces facteurs ont sur notre bien-être.
... Prosocial behaviours are inherently altruistic and involve complex cognitive, emotional, and behavioural processes. They are not just moral behaviours, but have genuine impact on mood, reduced risk for depression, self-esteem, and overall mental wellbeing (Alarcon & Forbes, 2017;Schwartz et al., 2003;Snippe et al., 2018;Wilson and Musick, 1999). Where the availability of private gardens seemed to provide greater benefit for those children from more affluent households, and thereby reinforcing positive outcomes for these children, the 'equigenic' effect of natural space may prove crucial to preventing, reducing, or at least minimising the widening of health inequality. ...
Article
Introduction: The natural environment may benefit children's social, emotional and behavioural wellbeing, whilst offering a lever to narrow socioeconomic health inequalities. We investigated whether immediate neighbourhood natural space and private gardens were related to children's wellbeing outcomes and whether these relationships were moderated by household income. Methods: A nationally representative sample of 774 children (55% female, 10/11 years old) from the Studying Physical Activity in Children's Environments across Scotland study. Social, emotional and behavioural difficulty scores (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) represented wellbeing outcomes. Percentage of total natural space and private gardens within 100m of the child's residence was quantified using Ordnance Survey's MasterMap Topography Layer®. Linear regression, including interaction terms, explored the two main research questions. Results: A 10% increase in residential natural space was associated with a 0.08 reduction (-0.15, -0.01; 95%CI) in Emotional Problem scores and a 0.09 improvement (0.02, 0.16; 95%CI) in Prosocial Behaviour scores. Household income moderated the associations between % natural space and private gardens on Prosocial Behaviour scores: for natural space, there was a positive relationship for those in the lowest income quintile (0.25 (0.09, 0.41; 95%CI)) and a null relationship for those in the highest quintile (-0.07 (-0.16, 0.02; 95%CI)). For private garden space, there was a positive relationship for those in the highest quintile (0.15 (0.05, 0.26; 95%CI)) and negative relationship with those in the lowest quintile (-0.30 (-0.50, -0.07, 95%CI)). Conclusion: The natural environment could be a lever to benefit those from less advantaged backgrounds, particularly the development of prosocial behaviours.
... ( Ellis & Becker, 1982 , p. 165). The benefi ts of focusing on others' wellbeing is well documented in the literature, and research shows that altruistic behavior is associated with signifi cant and lasting benefi ts in terms of emotional and physical health (e.g., Brown et al., 2003 ;Brown, Consedine, & Magai, 2005 ;Schwartz et al., 2003 ). It is beyond the scope of this chapter to review this evidence. ...
... People living in communities and nations where there is an established level of trust are more likely to engage in prosocial behaviors to help each other achieve a higher level of resilience during a time of crisis (Helliwell et al. 2014). When engagement in prosocial behaviors is the social norm, this could create an upward spiral for people to support each other during difficult times and could improve mental health among people, including both beneficiaries and benefactors (Levine et al. 2008, Schwartz et al. 2003, Weinstein & Ryan 2010. Experiences of COVID-19 can also inspire community residents to take initiatives to help each other cope proactively and adaptively during the pandemic. ...
Article
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic poses wide-ranging impacts on the physical and mental health of people around the world, increasing attention from both researchers and practitioners on the topic of resilience. In this article, we review previous research on resilience from the past several decades, focusing on how to cultivate resilience during emerging situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic at the individual, organizational, community, and national levels from a socioecological perspective. Although previous research has greatly enriched our understanding of the conceptualization, predicting factors, processes, and consequences of resilience from a variety of disciplines and levels, future research is needed to gain a deeper and comprehensive understanding of resilience, including developing an integrative and interdisciplinary framework for cultivating resilience, developing an understanding of resilience from a life span perspective, and developing scalable and cost-effective interventions for enhancing resilience and improving pandemic preparedness. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Psychology, Volume 73 is January 2022. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
... The more altruistic participants exhibited less psychological distress and less negative affect. This is in line with evidence showing that altruistic behaviour is associated with better mental health (Schwartz et al., 2003). Our finding adds to previous limited evidence on outbreaks showing the medical staff's altruistic acceptance of the risk to help SARS patients decreased the odds of having depressive symptoms (Liu et al., 2012). ...
Article
To save lives and slow the spread of COVID‐19 Greece imposed a country‐wide, 6‐week lockdown and a stay‐at‐home order at an early stage. This study examines the effect of quarantine on young adults by assessing depression, anxiety, stress and the experience of positive and negative affect. The role of potential risk factors such as disruption of normal life, perceived threat of the disease, acquaintance with someone infected and gender; and protective factors, such as adherence to a daily routine and altruism was evaluated. An online questionnaire entailing demographics, the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS‐21), the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), measures of life disruption, perceived threat and adherence to a daily routine and an altruism scale was completed by 1018 undergraduates. Increased levels of depression, anxiety, stress and negative affect were found. Life disruption and perceived threat of the disease were risk factors in all psychological distress measures, while a stable, satisfying daily routine and altruism mitigated the negative consequences. Gender was a moderator. Acknowledging the psychological effect of quarantine on young adults should be the starting point for interventions. Helping people build a new routine and assign an altruistic meaning to the confinement can protect psychological health.
... This result is also consistent with studies pointing out that some people can feel good when they work hard and see how others benefit from their efforts [40]. During the COVID-19 crisis, the suffering of the population was real and palpable. ...
Article
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Background: Since the outbreak of the 2019 coronavirus, healthcare workers found themselves on the front lines, exposed to a high risk of contamination and to an enormous psychological impact. Objective: The current study aimed to assess the perceived stress among healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic and to determine the associated factors. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted involving 254 healthcare professionals in the health region of Sousse from March to September 2020. Socio-demographic and professional characteristics were collected using a self-administrated questionnaire. The perceived stress level, work belongingness, resilience, and coping strategies were assessed using the PSS10 scale, the Workplace Belongingness Scale, the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC) and the Brief Cope questionnaire, respectively. Results: The overall mean [±standard deviation (SD)] age of the participants was 32.9 ± 8.76 years with a sex ratio (M / F) of 0.51. The assessment of perceived stress level among participants revealed a mean score of 30.69 ± 7.67 with an estimated high stress level prevalence of 22.4%. The majority of participants evinced a moderate stress level (59.5%) followed by a high stress level (22.4%). Women and health professionals with a parent in charge have higher level of perceived stress. On the other hand, perceived stress was significantly lower among healthcare professionals working in COVID units than those not working in COVID units, with p <10-3. The multivariate analysis revealed that working in a COVID circuit, resilience, work belongingness, problem-focused coping strategies and avoidance strategies were factors associated with perceived stress among healthcare professionals. Conclusion: Based on these results, the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare professionals is undeniable. However, working by personal choice in COVID units, work belongingness, resilience and problem-focused coping strategies appeared to be protective factors.
... Prior research has found that helping others is associated with better mental health [21] and significantly protects against engaging in serodiscordant condomless anal intercourse [22]. People who use drugs are among the most stigmatized and mistreated in the United States [23,24]. ...
Article
Background: Evidence suggests that economic, social and psychological circumstances brought about by the coronavirus pandemic may have serious impact on behavioral health. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionally impacted by HIV and stimulant use, the co-occurrence of which heightens HIV transmission risk and undermines the national treatment as prevention efforts for ending the HIV epidemic. There is a paucity of information regarding the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the substance use and HIV medication adherence of this key vulnerable population - MSM who use stimulants and are living with HIV. Objective: The aim of this qualitative study was to identify ways in which the coronavirus pandemic has affected the stimulant use and antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence among a sample of MSM living with HIV. Methods: Two focus groups were conducted in August 2020 via HIPAA-compliant video-conferencing technology. Potential participants from a suitable research participant registry at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University were invited and screened for study participation based on inclusion criteria. A semi-structured interview guide was followed. A general inductive approach was used to analyze the data. Findings in two general areas of interest, the impact of COVID-19 on stimulant use and ART adherence, emerged directly from the raw data. Results: A total of 12 ethnically diverse participants over the age of 25 took part in the study. Results were heterogeneous in terms of the effects of the pandemic on both stimulant use and ART adherence among MSM living with HIV. Some men indicated increased or sustained stimulant use and ART adherence and others reported decreased stimulant use and ART adherence. Reasons for these behavioral changes ranged from concerns about their own health and that of their loved ones to challenges brought about by the lack of daily structure during the lockdown phase of the pandemic and emotion regulation difficulties. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic has had differential impact on stimulant use and ART medication adherence among MSM living with HIV. The reasons for behavioral change identified by this study may be salient intervention targets to support ART medication adherence and lower stimulant use among MSM in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as beyond. Clinicaltrial:
... While there are no existing studies of perinatal peer support in prison, our findings reflect wider research which has shown that women value the reassurance, information and social networks of peer support provision (Trickey et al., 2018;Thomson and Crossland, 2019). Furthermore, the findings that BC provision had benefits to peers and staff resonate with insights as to how third-sector organisations can positively influence statutory provision (Aiken and Thomson, 2013) and peer supporters reap benefits from increased self-esteem, self-confidence and personal growth (Fletcher and Batty, 2012;Schwartz et al., 2003). This work has helped to identify specific strategies to improve the care and support of perinatal women, as well as how to optimise the delivery of perinatal support. ...
Article
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Purpose This paper reports on insights from an evaluation of Birth Companions (BC) (a UK-based charity) perinatal support in two prison settings in England. The initiative involved the provision of group and/or one-to-one perinatal support and training women prisoners as peer supporters. Design/methodology/approach A mixed-methods study was undertaken that involved observations of support groups and peer support supervision sessions (n = 9); audio recorded interviews (n = 33) with prison and health-care staff, women in prison, peer supporters and BC staff; analysis of existing routinely collected data by BC and notes undertaken during regular meetings (n = 10) with the BC Project Manager. Thematic analysis was undertaken supported by MAXQDA qualitative data analysis software. Findings BC provided instrumental/practical support, emotional support, information support, signposting to services and advocating for women to the prison concerning their perinatal needs and rights. Key themes revealed that support had an impact on the lives of perinatal women by creating a safe place characterised by meaningful interactions and women-centred approaches that facilitated access to wider care and support. The service made a difference by empowering women and providing added value for peer supporters, prison, health-care and BC staff. Key enablers and strategies for the care of perinatal women and the delivery of perinatal support are also detailed. Originality/value Through longitudinal data and the involvement of a range of stakeholders, this study evidences the subtleties of support provided by BC and the potential it has to make a difference to perinatal women in prison and those volunteering or working within the prison system.
... Additionally, leisure activities and social participation could reduce mental health problems such as depression (13). In particular, in social participation, both receiving and providing social support are important for improving mental health after a traumatic experience (14,15). ...
Article
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This study examined whether disaster resilience affects the recovery of mental health states and mitigates psychosocial anxiety 10 years later the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. The survey was conducted in Fukushima's evacuation-directed and non-evacuation-directed areas in January 2020. The 695 participants responded to a questionnaire including items on radiation-related anxiety regarding the Fukushima Daiichi accident, an action-oriented approach as a resilience factor, psychological distress, and demographic information. The structural equation modeling showed that the action-oriented approach also eased radiation-related anxiety by mediating with improving mental health states. Moreover, a multi-group model analysis was conducted for evacuation-directed and non-directed areas. In the evacuation-directed area, we found stronger associations among resilience, mental health states, and radiation-related anxiety, and a direct effect of resilience factors on radiation risk anxiety. These findings emphasize the importance of resilience in post-disaster contexts, at least for a decade, where mental health deteriorates and various psychosocial issues become more complex.
... Most studies on altruistic behavior employ either questionnaires (McCormack & Joseph, 2012;Schwartz, Meisenhelder, Ma, & Reed, 2003) or behavioral games (Eckel & Grossman, 1996;Gächter, 2004;Heliövaara, Ehtamo, Helbing, & Korhonen, 2013;Kwak, Lees, Cai, & Ong, 2020). One potential disadvantage of these methods is that they lack a context with which participants can be engaged during the interaction. ...
Article
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Understanding the human factors governing effective information exchange is increasingly indispensable for the design of day to day human-computer systems. Moreover, effective information exchange becomes a matter of life or death during emergency egress. The complexity of an unknown environment and the unpredictable locations of hazards often prevent evacuees from identifying safe routes. Successful evacuations from locations impacted by fire or earthquakes may depend on user-generated information to increase the chance of collective survival. The present paper employed multi-user virtual reality experiments and an online survey to investigate the mechanisms underlying social influence and collective intelligence during emergencies. Our results demonstrate that information sharing helps to reduce evacuation time and trajectory length. Participants also shared more when given incentives or when there was a lack of knowledge in the public information pool. This work provides further indications of how collective intelligence can be promoted and deployed during emergencies.
... eing on altruistic agents is considering 'reasonable altruism' (S. G. Post, 2005), that is, helping behavior that is not overwhelming. Those who are physically or mentally overwhelmed, or both, by the needs of others, experience stress that can have significant negative health consequences (Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 2003;Musick, Herzog, & House, 1999;C. E. Schwartz, Meisenhelder, Ma, & Reed, 2003). ...
... Sleep and altruism each have a variety of documented mental and physical health benefits, but little is known about how sleep influences altruistic behavior, especially online altruistic behavior. Engaging in acts of traditional altruism (i.e., altruism without the use of electronic technology) is associated with improvements in mental and physical health among adults, such as lower levels of depression and anxiety (Musick & Wilson, 2003;Post, 2005;Schwartz et al., 2003), reduced levels of stress (Brown & Brown, 2015;Raposa et al., 2016), longer lifespan (Brown et al., 2005;Poulin et al., 2013), and enhanced well-being (Robotham, 2012;Thoits & Hewitt, 2001). The importance of sleep to health and behavior is also well-documented. ...
Article
The present study examines how sleep quantity and sleep quality are associated with online behavior, specifically acts of digital altruism. A total of 228 adult (mean age 40 years) participants residing in the United States, recruited through Facebook and Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), completed an online survey assessing sleep quality and quantity, digital altruism, internet use, happiness, and personality. Correlation results show that sleep quantity was associated with performing digital altruism. Mediation analyses revealed that this direct association was fully mediated by happiness. Although sleep quality was not directly associated with performing digital altruism, it was indirectly associated with happiness. These results suggest that both more sleep and better sleep are associated with greater happiness, which in turn, is associated with performing more acts of digital altruism. Regression results further revealed that the direct association between sleep quantity and performing digital altruism was curvilinear, such that the association reverses with very high amounts of sleep. Results of this study extend previous findings that sleep quantity is associated with performing traditional altruism to online behavior. This study further highlights the importance of receiving sufficient sleep due to its association with increased happiness and more frequent acts of performing digital altruism, while simultaneously underscoring the need for future research regarding risks associated with excessive sleep.
... Apart from a potentially reduced mortality, our systematic review did not identify much evidence for protective effects of informal caregiving in terms of reduced chronic morbidity, although we did not exclude these outcomes. Beyond the focus of our present work based on stringent methodological quality assessments, however, further research exists suggesting that the provision of emotional and practical support to others may result in improved mental and/or physical health for the provider of such support [61][62][63]. Informal caregiving can lead to a high level of self-esteem and a positive change in the sense of mastery among female informal caregivers when caring for a non-resident care recipient [64,65]. In addition, it also seems to have a stress-buffering effect, which leads to lower mortality [17]. ...
Article
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A systematic overview of mental and physical disorders of informal caregivers based on population-based studies with good methodological quality is lacking. Therefore, our aim was to systematically summarize mortality, incidence, and prevalence estimates of chronic diseases in informal caregivers compared to non-caregivers. Following PRISMA recommendations, we searched major healthcare databases (CINAHL, MEDLINE and Web of Science) systematically for relevant studies published in the last 10 years (without language restrictions) (PROSPERO registration number: CRD42020200314). We included only observational cross-sectional and cohort studies with low risk of bias (risk scores 0–2 out of max 8) that reported the prevalence, incidence, odds ratio (OR), hazard ratio (HR), mean- or sum-scores for health-related outcomes in informal caregivers and non-caregivers. For a thorough methodological quality assessment, we used a validated checklist. The synthesis of the results was conducted by grouping outcomes. We included 22 studies, which came predominately from the USA and Europe. Informal caregivers had a significantly lower mortality than non-caregivers. Regarding chronic morbidity outcomes, the results from a large longitudinal German health-insurance evaluation showed increased and statistically significant incidences of severe stress, adjustment disorders, depression, diseases of the spine and pain conditions among informal caregivers compared to non-caregivers. In cross-sectional evaluations, informal caregiving seemed to be associated with a higher occurrence of depression and of anxiety (ranging from 4 to 51% and 2 to 38%, respectively), pain, hypertension, diabetes and reduced quality of life. Results from our systematic review suggest that informal caregiving may be associated with several mental and physical disorders. However, these results need to be interpreted with caution, as the cross-sectional studies cannot determine temporal relationships. The lower mortality rates compared to non-caregivers may be due to a healthy-carer bias in longitudinal observational studies; however, these and other potential benefits of informal caregiving deserve further attention by researchers.
... Our experience with the tutoring program and its impact on tutors aligns with prior research showing that helping others reduces stress and enhances wellness and resiliency [8][9][10][11][12] . It also reinforces calls by national agencies like the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and Howard Hughes Medical Institute to engage PhD and undergraduate students, especially those from under-represented backgrounds, in community-based projects to enhance the retention of under-represented students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics 13 . ...
Article
Actively engaging students in community-based educational outreach activities improves their mental health and will hopefully promote their retention and success in graduate school and beyond.
... Altruism can be distinguished into formal and informal helping behaviors, with the former involving contributing unpaid time to formal organizations and the latter involving helping individuals or contributing to informal organizations [66]. Altruism from formal helping behavior is found to be associated with longer life expectancy, better self-rated health, and improved emotions [67,68]. Informal helping behaviors, such as peer help between patients or community members, can reduce depression and increase self-confidence and self-esteem, all positively affecting health [69]. ...
Article
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Considerable research has shown that religion operates as a protective factor for one’s health. However, there is still a lack of understanding of the mechanisms by which religion is linked to individual health and wellbeing, especially in predominantly secular societies. This study tried to address this gap by developing a theoretical model to examine how religiosity is related to life satisfaction and health perception in a non-Western culture. Macau, a Portuguese colony until 1999, remains a diversified culture because of its intermixed historical background from the East and the West. Through structural equation modeling, the analysis of data collected from a representative sample of Macau residents, using a multistage stratified sampling procedure, indicated a positive link between religiosity and health. Moreover, altruism and prejudice mediated a portion of the relationship between religiosity and health. Additionally, our results demonstrated that Macau residents who were more religious had a higher level of altruism and a lower level of prejudice. The link between religion and prejudice in Macau differs from that of many other cultures, indicating that the effect of religion on prejudice varies by cultural context. In sum, our study showed that even in the shadow of glittering casinos, religion is positively related to health.
... Altruistic behaviour is not a new phenomenon, and evidence shows that helping others positively affects mental health. 20 Mental health in palliative care patients is an important area of provision of care. Providing them with an opportunity to help others or framing it this way could be an avenue to pursue. ...
Preprint
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Background: Blindness from corneal opacity accounts for 12% of cases of blindness worldwide. There is a severe shortage of corneas for donation worldwide for transplantation and research purposes. One group of individuals who could potentially be donors are those who die within the inpatient palliative care unit. The aims of the study were to 1. determine the frequency of corneal donation discussion; 2. determine whether inpatient palliative care unit patients and clinicians were aware of the potential for corneal donation discussions and 3. explore the attitudes and beliefs of inpatient palliative care unit patients and clinicians about corneal donation. Methods: An exploratory qualitative study was designed where inpatient palliative care unit patients and clinicians were invited to a semi-structured interview. A total of 46 face to face interviews were undertaken involving inpatient palliative care unit patients (20) and clinicians (26) in three major inpatient palliative care units in South Australia. Results: Very few patient participants were asked about corneal donations during their time in palliative care. Most inpatient palliative care unit clinicians did not bring up the topic as they felt other areas of care took precedence. Inpatient palliative care unit patients thought if inpatient palliative care unit clinicians did not raise the topic, then it was not important. Conclusions: Findings suggest that patients are receptive to discussing corneal donations, but few discussions are occurring. There were some differences between patient and clinician views, such as preference about who raises the possibility of donation and when the discussion might occur.
... Lacasse, Fuller, & Spaulding-Givens, 2017). Being able to be kind to others has documented associations with better health outcomes (Otake, Shimai, Tanaka-Matsumi, Otsui, & Fredrickson, 2006) and higher levels of well-being (Schwartz, Meisenhelder, Ma, & Reed, 2003;Schwartz, Quaranto, Healy, Benedict, & Vollmer, 2013). Finally, being able to retain a sense of perspective has been found to be an effective strategy for dealing with the loss of a loved one (Folkman, 2001;Folkman & Moskowitz, 2007). ...
Article
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Objective The present study validated the DeltaQuest Wellness Measure (DQ Wellness), a new 15-item measure of wellness that spans relevant attitudes, behaviors, and perspectives. Design This cross-sectional web-based study recruited chronically-ill patients and/or caregivers (n = 3,961) and a nationally representative comparison group (n = 855). Main Outcome Measures The DQ Wellness assesses: a way of being in the world that involves seeing and embracing the good and expressing kindness toward others; engagement in one’s activities and self-care; downplaying negative thoughts that reduce one’s energy; and an ability to feel joy. Six widely used measures of physical and mental health, cognition, and psychological well-being enabled construct-validity comparisons. Item-response theory (IRT) methods evaluated reliability, factor structure, and differential item functioning (DIF) by gender. Results The DQ Wellness showed strong cross-sectional reliability (marginal reliability = 0.89) and fit a bifactor model (RMSEA = 0.063, CFI = 0.982, TLI = 0.983). The DQ Wellness general score demonstrated construct validity, convergent and divergent validity, unique variance, and known-groups validity, and minimal gender DIF. The study is limited to addressing cross-sectional reliability and validity, and response rates are not known due to the recruitment source. Conclusion The DQ Wellness is a relatively brief measure, taps novel content, and could be useful for observational or interventional studies.
... For example, prosocial behavior serves as an opportunity for youth to make social connections and feel a sense of purpose and meaning during the pandemic, which may buffer against mental illness and help satisfy their interpersonal needs. In general, benefitting others through prosocial acts is associated with lower depression and anxiety (Haroz et al., 2013;Nantel-Vivier et al., 2014;Schwartz et al., 2003) and greater feelings of belongingness and lower feelings of burdensomeness (Devi et al., 2017;Oosterhoff et al., 2019;Gagné, 2003). Greater prosocial behavior during a shared trauma (e.g., the Holocaust) is related to greater psychological wellbeing after the trauma (Kahana et al., 1988), and time spent volunteering in post-disaster relief efforts is associated with increased feelings of belongingness and decreased feelings of burdensomeness (Gordon et al., 2011). ...
Article
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Natural disasters and times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, are extremely stressful events, with severe mental health consequences. However, such events also provide opportunities for prosocial support between citizens, which may be related to mental health symptoms and interpersonal needs. We examined adolescents' prosocial experiences as both actors and recipients during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and assessed whether these experiences were associated with indicators of mental health. Adolescents (N = 426; 78% female) aged 13 to 20 years (M age = 16.43, SD = 1.10; 63.6% White, 12.9% Hispanic/Latinx, 8.5% Asian, 4.2% Black, 2.8% Native American) were recruited across the US in early April of 2020. Participants reported on their COVID-19 prosocial experiences (helping others, receiving help) and mental health (depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, burdensomeness, belongingness). Multiple regression models indicated greater engagement in COVID-19 prosocial behavior was associated with greater anxiety symptoms and greater burdensomeness. Receiving more COVID-19 help was associated with lower depressive symptoms and higher belongingness. Findings highlight the importance of furthering our understanding of the nuanced connections between prosocial experiences and adolescents' mental health to help inform post-pandemic recovery and relief efforts. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12144-021-02670-y.
... However, they also explicitly report stress associated with the risk from the virus itself (heightened for those with existing physical health risks), and the conflict between the risk of exposure while executing their work role and their desire to protect their families. While some may experience stress in response to working outside the home, going into work for some can be protective because it provides continuity, and a social support network that protects against loneliness (Modini et al., 2016;Schwartz et al., 2003). Specifically, expressing emotions at work and receiving emotional support from peers acted as a moderator for those officers whose work put them at risk of experiencing multiple trauma (Stephens & Long, 1999). ...
Article
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Objective: During the present pandemic, emerging literature argues that front-line officers’ mental health is at greater risk whilst performing their duties. However, little is known of the impact on the work of professionals in analytical/intelligence roles in police, law enforcement and justice organisations. Therefore, this study explored the impact of the current pandemic on the experiences of analysts working in these roles. Method: Sixteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with these analysts and template analysis was used to analyse the transcriptions. Results: Nine themes were identified namely ‘A new safe work place’, ‘Opportunity to catch-up’, ‘Communication delays’, ‘Discomfort with commuting’, ‘Facilitating offending’, ‘Isolation’, ‘Loss of social support’, ‘Insufficient technical resources’, and ‘Work-life imbalance’. Conclusion: Analysts when home-working with traumatic material were facing challenges, such as limited human interaction and no immediate support from employers, which were causing psychological distress during these unprecedented times. While the nature of their work puts some constraints on what can be done to support these analysts, some suggestions are made, which employers could action. Impact statement: This study highlights the importance of developing effective and secure means of communication with colleagues in the office when home-working with traumatic material cannot be avoided, dedicated time and technological solutions to promote belonging and community, and strategies to help home-workers in mentally separating work and home space, despite both occurring in the same physical space when working with trauma-related material.
Chapter
The chapter examines the role of practice-related research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. It will extend existing debates regarding the academic rigour of such methodologies as arts-based research and consider their impact on future research culture, using Zen arts as an example of a subject of study within such a methodological framing. It also discusses complimentary methods used by Zen arts researchers such as ethnography to examine why qualitative techniques are not only useful but imperative in the study of such fields. While practice is the key to Zen arts research, neither of the practice-related method types, practice-led or practice-based, currently defined describes how such practice or the writing function in PhD investigations, where together such components are the subject of investigation as well as the method of research and presentation. The chapter thus suggests an additional category of PRR, “practice-reflexive,” when describing such research whose focus is on the distinction of (or the lack thereof) the written exegesis and the notional artefact.
Article
High-quality interactions and relationships with others, such as intimacy with a spouse, friends, or family members, are referred to as social intimacy, and it can help predict mental health. Altruism is described as a motivational condition that a person holds with the intention of enhancing the wellbeing of another person. The purpose of the current study is to determine whether there is a substantial difference between first and second born emerging adults in terms of social intimacy and altruism. The sample included 126 college students who were emerging adults, of whom 63 were firstborn and another 63 were second-born. Convenient sampling techniques were used to gather the sample. Miller's Social Intimacy Scale and Altruism Scale were the instruments employed. Using SPSS, the data that were gathered were examined. The results demonstrated that there is a 0.01 level significant difference in altruism between first and second born emerging adults. When compared to first-born emerging adults, second-born emerging adults had more altruism. The analysis of the mean values revealed that first-born and second-born emerging adults differed in their levels of social intimacy. However, the variation is insignificant. Social intimacy was shown to be higher among second born than first born after analyzing the mean values.
Article
There are many reasons why individuals engage in prosocial behavior; communal sexual altruism is based on the notion that some practice safer sex in the interest of promoting the well‐being of their community/in‐group. Given that definitions of what constitutes “safer sex” have changed with advances in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention, we investigated the importance of communal sexual altruism (herein “altruism”) among urban gay, bisexual, and other sexual minority men (GBM) in the contemporary context. Using a sample of 2449 GBM we examined the association of both safer‐sex‐related attitudes (e.g., HIV treatment optimism–skepticism) and behaviors (e.g., condomless anal sex [CAS]) with altruism scores. Higher altruism scores were associated with a lower likelihood of CAS and a greater frequency of discussing HIV status with new partners. These findings demonstrate that many GBM are motivated to engage in several kinds of behaviors that improve the well‐being of their in‐group (i.e., the GBM community).
Article
Objective: This study expands the literature on risk taking among college students by exploring anti-racism action as a form of positive risk taking. Participants: 346 Black (64%) and Latinx (36%) college students (85% female) ages 18-27 years (M = 18.75, SD = 1.31). Methods: Participants responded to questionnaires on anti-racism action, health-risk taking, and college functioning. Latent class analysis identified behavioral profiles of risk takers. Indicators of profile membership and associations with college functioning were examined. Results: Three profiles emerged: moderate overall risk taking, high health-risk taking, and high anti-racism action. Personal experience with discrimination was associated with a greater likelihood of health-risk taking. Students in the high anti-racism profile evinced greater educational functioning than those in the high-health risk taking profile. Conclusions: Risky behavior on college campuses is not homogeneous. Specific interventions and support networks are necessary to support students falling within specific risk profiles.
Article
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The present work proposes looking into whether immigrants’ community engagement has any relationship with their well-being measured with self-esteem and linguistic and cultural competences. Five hundred and ten young immigrants participated in the study (Range 19-29 years; M = 23.75, SD = 2.92), filling out a self-report questionnaire containing measures aimed at investigating their wellbeing. Of these, 59.4% claimed to be engaged in local organization. We compared the groups of engaged and not engaged immigrants — with similar sociodemographic characteristics — with three indicators of well-being (self-esteem, mastery of the language, and knowledge of the culture of the hosting country). The results highlight that, compared to the not engaged, the engaged report statistically higher means for all the indicators of well-being utilized. In addition, statistically significant differences emerged with respect to the types of activities in which the young immigrants were engaged. Community engagement can thus be considered related to immigrants’ well-being. The operative results are discussed.
Article
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Objective: To review the most common mental health strategies aimed at alleviating and/or preventing mental health problems in individuals during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and other coronavirus pandemics. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of the literature assessing three databases (PubMed, SCOPUS, and PsycINFO). A meta-analysis was performed with data from randomized controlled trials (RCTs). For non-RCT studies, a critical description of recommendations was performed. Results: From a total of 2,825 articles, 125 were included. Of those, three RCTs were included in the meta-analysis. The meta-analysis revealed that the interventions promoted better overall mental health outcomes as compared to control groups (standardized mean difference [SMD] = 0.87 [95%CI 0.33-1.41], p < 0.001, I² = 69.2%), but did not specifically improve anxiety (SMD = 0.98 [95%CI -0.17 to 2.13], p > 0.05; I² = 36.8%). Concerning the systematic review, we found a large body of scientific literature proposing recommendations involving psychological/psychiatric interventions, self-care, education, governmental programs, and the use of technology and media. Conclusions: We found a large body of expert recommendations that may help health practitioners, institutional and governmental leaders, and the general population cope with mental health issues during a pandemic or a crisis period. However, most articles had a low level of evidence, stressing the need for more studies with better design (especially RCTs) investigating potential mental health interventions during COVID-19. PROSPERO registration: CRD42020190212.
Chapter
This chapter covers wellbeing research related to personal and consumption activities. Wellbeing theories are discussed. These include classical conditioning, activity, flow, personal expressiveness, and self-determination. The research on personal activities is usually categorized in four major groups, namely physical, social, leisure/recreation, and spiritual/community. The research on consumption activities is also discussed. In that context, wellbeing principles are identified in terms of pattern of consumption, procedure of consumption, match between the choice phase and the consumption phase, type of consumption, as well as other factors in consumption.
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Objectives There is growing interest in arts practices in relation to public health, including their potential to support psychological well-being. This study sought to understand the impact of Hear and Now, an intergenerational arts and health project, upon indicators of psychological well-being among all groups involved: young people, older people with a diagnosis of dementia and their carers and partners and the project's artistic team. Study design This was a descriptive exploratory qualitative study, using focus groups and observation as data collection methods. Methods Study participants were 65 people representing the four groups participating in the 2019 Hear and Now project: older adults living with a diagnosis of dementia, their carers and partners, young people and a team of professional artists and facilitators. Of these, 27 participated in one or more of seven focus groups. Participants were asked about their previous engagement with music and dance, thoughts about the intergenerational element of the project and other aspects of their experiences that related to indicators of well-being. In order to investigate the project's impact on participants' well-being, Seligman's PERMA model was adopted, which sets out five indicators of well-being: positive emotions, engagement, positive relationships, meaning and achievement/accomplishment. Results Experiences relating to all five areas of the PERMA model were evidenced by all groups in relation to their involvement in the project. Additional health benefits were also cited by some, as well as enhanced perceptions of other members of the project cohort. Conclusions The findings support existing literature that intergenerational and arts activities can be beneficial for individuals' psychological health. Experiences relating to all five dimensions of the PERMA model of well-being (positive emotion, engagement, positive relationships, meaning, achievement/accomplishment) were cited by the four participant groups, which suggests examining the impact of such projects on all project collaborators is worthy of further study. Understanding the impact these projects can have on the various groups involved will enable artistic and healthcare communities to better collaborate and value each other's practices.
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The nationwide lockdown to control Covid-19 spread has rendered millions of female domestic workers in India jobless, and exposed this already vulnerable category to hunger, starvation and even death. The 250-300 odd female domestic workers dependent on residents of Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur campus also found themselves in this financial predicament owning to the complete lockdown for three months. The purpose of this study is to assess mental well-being level of female domestic workers serving residents within IIT Kharagpur campus during three months of complete lockdown. This study also examines if their resilience had any impact on their well-being, and finally investigates factors that helped them stay positive and contributed to their well-being during the lockdown. This study employed a mixed methodology drawing on quantitative and qualitative data from 45 female domestic workers, aged 21-61 years. Data were collected using WHO-5, BRS, and participant survey including an open-ended question. Descriptive statistics, correlation, multiple regression and thematic content analysis were used for data analysis. Wellbeing among domestic workers was found to be moderate. Quantitative and quantitative analysis suggested that 'spending time with family during lockdown,' 'getting sound sleep,' 'receiving help from employers' and 'personally helping someone in need' predicted well-being of domestic workers during lockdown. Age and domestic violence were negative predictors of well-being. Other determinants of wellbeing during the lockdown according to qualitative analysis included 'safety of family members,' 'relief,' 'social support,' 'social engagement,' 'generosity of employers,' 'forced abstinence from alcohol and gambling by spouses', 'rest' and 'care from family members'. While resilience correlated with well-being, it was not found to predict wellbeing. The mean well-being level of domestic workers at IIT Kharagpur, contrary to expectations, -was found to be above the critical 13 point, and they seemed to be better off than those reported in various media, owing to sustained financial support by their employers at IIT Kharagpur and relief material provided by IIT Kharagpur. This suggests the importance of supportive contexts which can significantly affect the well-being of vulnerable communities and people working in informal sector, even during lockdown.
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This Practitioner’s Note considers the disruptive function of Little Phil, a mobile app that seeks to democratize philanthropic giving. Although many of the cultural aspects of philanthropy – such as increased control over donation, tracking the impact of one’s giving, and building interpersonal relationships with receivers – can be opened to any person with an app-hosting device and internet access, it cannot supplant the role of big philanthropy and solve Rob Reich’s problem: how to domesticate private wealth so that it serves democratic purposes? Little Phil’s disruption has in concept gotten us halfway to legitimizing philanthropy. Perhaps the uptake of citizens’ panels by large philanthropic foundations will cover the remaining distance.
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Background Over a third of people with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS) struggle with poor mental health, which exacerbates physical symptoms and complicates clinical treatment. To address this, we tested the efficacy of an interpersonal emotion regulation intervention: this intervention seeks to improve mental health by teaching participants to use emotion regulation strategies which leverage social support (e.g., reaching out to others for comfort when experiencing a stressful event). Method Nineteen PwMS completed this prospective, blinded randomized controlled trial (intervention n=10; control n=9). Intervention participants met with an interventionist over six weeks to discuss their emotional challenges and develop goals to use interpersonal emotion regulation strategies. Participants in the control condition met with the interventionist on the same schedule but their emotion regulation strategies were only measured and not manipulated. Pre-registered primary outcomes were self-reported depression, stress, and quality of life (QoL). The pre-registered secondary outcome was self-reported social support. Results Intervention participants’ depression scores improved from time 1 to time 2 (mean difference=3.60, 95% CI [0.44-6.76]), yet remained unchanged for the control group (mean difference=-1.67, 95% CI [-5.00-1.67], overall interaction, F(1,17)=5.84, p=.027, ηp²=.256). The remaining primary (stress and QoL) and secondary (social support) outcomes did not show a significant effect of the intervention (stress: p=.601, ηp²=.016; QoL: p=.179, ηp²=.104; social support: p=.140, ηp²=.124). Conclusion Interpersonal emotion regulation is beneficial in improving depression in PwMS. Consequently, these strategies can be implemented in conjunction with existing mental health treatments in a holistic approach to improving well-being.
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Individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) and social phobia (SP) have difficulties in social interactions. It is unknown, however, whether such difficulties prevent them from helping others, thereby depriving them of the natural benefits of helping, such as receiving gratitude. Using event sampling methodology (ESM), individuals (MDD, n = 118; SP, n = 47; and control group, n = 119) responded to questions about the frequency of helping, in total at 5333 time points, and their well-being. Contrary to our hypothesis, individuals in the MDD, SP and control group did not differ in their helping frequency. Results did show an association between helping and well-being, such that helping is related to well-being and well-being to helping. Understanding the complex relation of helping others and well-being and how this might be used during therapy and prevention programmes are discussed.
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Regression methods were used to select and score 12 items from the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) to reproduce the Physical Component Summary and Mental Component Summary scales in the general US population (n = 2,333). The resulting 12-item short-form (SF-12) achieved multiple R squares of 0.911 and 0.918 in predictions of the SF-36 Physical Component Summary and SF-36 Mental Component Summary scores, respectively. Scoring algorithms from the general population used to score 12-item versions of the two components (Physical Component Summary and Mental Component Summary) achieved R squares of 0.905 with the SF-36 Physical Component Summary and 0.938 with the SF-36 Mental Component Summary when cross-validated in the Medical Outcomes Study. Test-retest (2-week) correlations of 0.89 and 0.76 were observed for the 12-item Physical Component Summary and the 12-item Mental Component Summary, respectively, in the general US population (n = 232). Twenty cross-sectional and longitudinal tests of empirical validity previously published for the 36-item short-form scales and summary measures were replicated for the 12-item Physical Component Summary and the 12-item Mental Component Summary, including comparisons between patient groups known to differ or to change in terms of the presence and seriousness of physical and mental conditions, acute symptoms, age and aging, self-reported 1-year changes in health, and recovery from depression. In 14 validity tests involving physical criteria, relative validity estimates for the 12-item Physical Component Summary ranged from 0.43 to 0.93 (median = 0.67) in comparison with the best 36-item short-form scale. Relative validity estimates for the 12-item Mental Component Summary in 6 tests involving mental criteria ranged from 0.60 to 1.07 (median = 0.97) in relation to the best 36-item short-form scale. Average scores for the 2 summary measures, and those for most scales in the 8-scale profile based on the 12-item short-form, closely mirrored those for the 36-item short-form, although standard errors were nearly always larger for the 12-item short-form.
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A 36-item short-form (SF-36) was constructed to survey health status in the Medical Outcomes Study. The SF-36 was designed for use in clinical practice and research, health policy evaluations, and general population surveys. The SF-36 includes one multi-item scale that assesses eight health concepts: 1) limitations in physical activities because of health problems; 2) limitations in social activities because of physical or emotional problems; 3) limitations in usual role activities because of physical health problems; 4) bodily pain; 5) general mental health (psychological distress and well-being); 6) limitations in usual role activities because of emotional problems; 7) vitality (energy and fatigue); and 8) general health perceptions. The survey was constructed for self-administration by persons 14 years of age and older, and for administration by a trained interviewer in person or by telephone. The history of the development of the SF-36, the origin of specific items, and the logic underlying their selection are summarized. The content and features of the SF-36 are compared with the 20-item Medical Outcomes Study short-form.
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This questionnaire study sheds light on the psychological component of kin selecting tendencies predicted by Hamilton's (1964b) inclusive fitness theory of discriminatory altruistic behavior based on genetic similarity. Participants rated donations of assistance aiding survival and material wealth as more rational and ethical when these actions were performed for closer relatives. Participants also felt a greater obligation to perform these acts for a close relation. A comparison condition where assistance was unlikely to affect survival or reproductive success did not exhibit these tendencies.
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Altruistic behavior and motivation has traditionally been regarded as a defense mechanism defined by the vicissitudes of instinctual gratification. In this article, we suggest that there exists a substantial body of evidence from the fields of ethology, infant research, and experimental psychology to support the existence of an independently motivated altruism that is nondefensive in nature. We attempt to show how the view of altruism as a universal motivational system stems from the recent developments in evolutionary theory and contributes to our understanding of intrapsychic factors influencing human behavior in general and the process of psychotherapy in particular. It is not our goal to prove the existence of "pure altruism" that can never be derived from selfish motives. Rather, our thesis is that self-oriented and altruistic motivations are equal and essential partners in human evolution and development. It is the optimal balance of these two forces that is necessary for evolutionary advancement and for psychological health.
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The factor structure of positive and negative social ties was studied among 246 older adults who were either recently physically disabled, recently conjugally bereaved, or matched controls. Covariance structure analyses were carried out on a network measure to determine whether positive and negative social ties represent independent domains of social experience, and to assess the degree to which their structure is invariant across groups undergoing major loss transitions. Positive and negative social ties were found to be independent and there was substantial similarity in their factor structure across the three groups. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that, whereas positive social ties were related to psychological well-being, negative social ties were predictive of both psychological well-being and distress. These results demonstrate the importance of assessing both positive and negative ties in explaining the psychological adjustment of older adults.
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A 36-item short-form (SF-36) was constructed to survey health status in the Medical Outcomes Study. The SF-36 was designed for use in clinical practice and research, health policy evaluations, and general population surveys. The SF-36 includes one multi-item scale that assesses eight health concepts: 1) limitations in physical activities because of health problems; 2) limitations in social activities because of physical or emotional problems; 3) limitations in usual role activities because of physical health problems; 4) bodily pain; 5) general mental health (psychological distress and well-being); 6) limitations in usual role activities because of emotional problems; 7) vitality (energy and fatigue); and 8) general health perceptions. The survey was constructed for self-administration by persons 14 years of age and older, and for administration by a trained interviewer in person or by telephone. The history of the development of the SF-36, the origin of specific items, and the logic underlying their selection are summarized. The content and features of the SF-36 are compared with the 20-item Medical Outcomes Study short-form.
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Studies of social support networks have almost exclusively measured only their positive aspects. In this research, we investigated both the helpful or positive and the upsetting or negative aspects of social networks in a longitudinal study of spouses caring for a husband or wife with Alzheimer's disease, a progressive senile dementia. Measures of helpful and upsetting aspects of the care givers' networks, derived from interviews and daily interaction ratings, were studied for their relations with overall network satisfaction and depression at an initial interview period (n = 68) and at a follow-up period about 10 months later (n = 38). Results from hierarchical multiple regression analyses, in which care givers' age and sex and a measure of the spouses' health status were controlled, showed that the care givers' degree of upset with their networks was strongly associated with lower network satisfaction and increased depression at both time periods. Helpful aspects bore little or no direct relation to either depression or network satisfaction. Helpful aspects of the network did, however, interact with network upset in predicting network satisfaction, and depression (combined probabilities test, p less than .05). Longitudinal predictions of follow-up depression, after age, sex, care givers' health status, and initial depression levels were controlled, showed that changes in upsetting aspects of one's network were predictive of changes in depression over time. We interpreted these results within an attributional framework that emphasizes the salience of upsetting events within a social network.
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Regression methods were used to select and score 12 items from the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) to reproduce the Physical Component Summary and Mental Component Summary scales in the general US population (n=2,333). The resulting 12-item short-form (SF-12) achieved multiple R squares of 0.911 and 0.918 in predictions of the SF-36 Physical Component Summary and SF-36 Mental Component Summary scores, respectively. Scoring algorithms from the general population used to score 12-item versions of the two components (Physical Components Summary and Mental Component Summary) achieved R squares of 0.905 with the SF-36 Physical Component Summary and 0.938 with SF-36 Mental Component Summary when cross-validated in the Medical Outcomes Study. Test-retest (2-week)correlations of 0.89 and 0.76 were observed for the 12-item Physical Component Summary and the 12-item Mental Component Summary, respectively, in the general US population (n=232). Twenty cross-sectional and longitudinal tests of empirical validity previously published for the 36-item short-form scales and summary measures were replicated for the 12-item Physical Component Summary and the 12-item Mental Component Summary, including comparisons between patient groups known to differ or to change in terms of the presence and seriousness of physical and mental conditions, acute symptoms, age and aging, self-reported 1-year changes in health, and recovery for depression. In 14 validity tests involving physical criteria, relative validity estimates for the 12-item Physical Component Summary ranged from 0.43 to 0.93 (median=0.67) in comparison with the best 36-item short-form scale. Relative validity estimates for the 12-item Mental Component Summary in 6 tests involving mental criteria ranged from 0.60 to 107 (median=0.97) in relation to the best 36-item short-form scale. Average scores for the 2 summary measures, and those for most scales in the 8-scale profile based on the 12-item short-form, closely mirrored those for the 36-item short-form, although standard errors were nearly always larger for the 12-item short-form.
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Health-related quality of life measures are used to evaluate patient outcomes in clinical trials of new treatments for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Summary index scores, rather than profiles of scale scores, would simplify data analysis and interpretation of findings from clinical trials and comparison across studies. Baseline MOS HIV Health Survey scores from two clinical trials of new antiretroviral medications in HIV/AIDS patients (total n = 2253) and an observational study (n = 162) were used to develop physical health summary (PHS) and mental health summary (MHS) scores. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis were used to identify the factor structure of the summary scores based on MOS HIV Health Survey scales. Physical health summary and MHS scores were derived and the factor structure proved invariant across the two groups. Reliability of the PHS score was 0.90 to 0.92 and MHS score was 0.91 to 0.94. Mean PHS and MHS scores differed in patient groups defined by HIV disease stage, HIV disease severity, Karnofsky performance status scores, and global ratings of health status. Mean PHS and MHS scores in patient reporting worsening health status were significantly lower than scores of patients reporting stable or improving health status. The PHS and MHS were reproducible across different samples of HIV/AIDS patients and are reliable and valid measures for demonstrating treatment impact on patient functioning and well-being.
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Psychology needs a metric for positive mental health that would be analogous to the IQ tests that measure above-average intelligence. The Defensive Function Scale of the DSM-IV offers a possible metric. In the present article the author links the transformational qualities of defenses at the mature end of the Defensive Function Scale - altruism, suppression, humor, anticipation, and sublimation - to positive psychology. First, the methodological problems involved in the reliable assessment of defenses are acknowledged. Next, the use of prospective longitudinal study to overcome such difficulties and to provide more reliable definition and measurement of defenses is outlined. Evidence is also offered that, unlike many psychological measures, the maturity of defenses is quite independent of social class, education, and IQ. Last, evidence is offered to illustrate the validity of mature defenses and their contribution to positive psychology.
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Patients confronted with a life-threatening or chronic disease are faced with the necessity to accommodate to their illness. An important mediator of this adaptation process is 'response shift' which involves changing internal standards, values and the conceptualization of quality of life (QOL). Integrating response shift into QOL research would allow a better understanding of how QOL is affected by changes in health status and would direct the development of reliable and valid measures for assessing changes in QOL. A theoretical model is proposed to clarify and predict changes in QOL as a result of the interaction of: (a) a catalyst, referring to changes in the respondent's health status; (b) antecedents, pertaining to stable or dispositional characteristics of the individual (e.g. personality); (c) mechanisms, encompassing behavioral, cognitive, or affective processes to accommodate the changes in health status (e.g. initiating social comparisons, reordering goals); and (d) response shift, defined as changes in the meaning of one's self-evaluation of QOL resulting from changes in internal standards, values, or conceptualization. A dynamic feedback loop aimed at maintaining or improving the perception of QOL is also postulated. This model is illustrated and the underlying assumptions are discussed. Future research directions are outlined that may further the investigation of response shift, by testing specific hypotheses and predictions about the QOL domains and the clinical and psychosocial conditions that would potentiate or prevent response shift effects.
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The purpose of this study is examine the relationships between church-based emotional support, negative interaction, and psychological well-being among clergy, elders, and rank-and-file members of the Presbyterian Church USA. Based on identity theory, it is proposed that clergy will receive more emotional support and encounter more negative interaction than others in the church. It is further hypothesized that the impact of emotional support and negative interaction on well-being will be greatest among members of the clergy. Data from a nationwide survey of Presbyterians reveal that elders as well as clergy encounter more emotional support and negative interaction than rank-and-file members. The findings further indicate that the effects of emotional support and negative interaction on well-being are greater for clergy and elders than for rank-and-file members. The implications of these findings are discussed, along with several promising directions for future research.
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Objectives. An empirical, head-to-head comparison of the performance characteristics of four generic health status measures. Methods. The Nottingham Health Profile, the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), the COOP/WONCA charts, and the EuroQol instrument were simultaneously employed in a controlled survey measuring the impact of migraine on health status. The feasibility (number of missing cases per item), internal consistency (Cronbach's α), construct validity (correlation patterns and common factor analysis), and discriminative ability (Receiver Operating Characteristic analyses) of the four measures were investigated. Results. The Nottingham Health Profile produced the lowest missing value rate. The internal consistency of the Nottingham Health Profile scales was lower than the scales of the SF-36. Combined factor analyses with data of the four instruments together resulted in two-factor solutions with a physical and a mental factor, explaining approximately 50% of variance. The SF-36 exhibited the best ability to discriminate between groups. Test-retest reliability and sensitivity to change over time could not be tested because of the cross-sectional character of the study. Conclusions. None of the instruments performed uniformly as "best" or "worst." Purely on the basis of the results of the psychometric analyses, the SF-36 appeared to be the most suitable measure of health status in this relatively healthy population. In general, the choice of the most suitable instrument for generic health status assessment in a particular study should be guided by the special features of each candidate instrument under consideration.
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A senior citizen volunteer aide program was designed, implemented, and evaluated in one elementary school.
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Studies of social support networks have almost exclusively measured only their positive aspects. In this research, we investigated both the helpful or positive and the upsetting or negative aspects of social networks in a longitudinal study of spouses caring for a husband or wife with Alzheimer's disease, a progressive senile dementia. Measures of helpful and upsetting aspects of the care givers' networks, derived from interviews and daily interaction ratings, were studied for their relations with overall network satisfaction and depression at an initial interview period (n = 68) and at a follow-up period about 10 months later (n = 38). Results from hierarchical multiple regression analyses, in which care givers' age and sex and a measure of the spouses' health status were controlled, showed that the care givers' degree of upset with their networks was strongly associated with lower network satisfaction and increased depression at both time periods. Helpful aspects bore little or no direct relation to either depression or network satisfaction. Helpful aspects of the network did, however, interact with network upset in predicting network satisfaction, and depression (combined probabilities test, p < .05). Longitudinal predictions of follow-up depression, after age, sex, care givers' health status, and initial depression levels were controlled, showed that changes in upsetting aspects of one's network were predictive of changes in depression over time. We interpreted these results within an attributional framework that emphasizes the salience of upsetting events within a social network.
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The empirical evidence concerning the association between various aspects of religion and adjustment to health-related stressors is reviewed, including examination of whether religion acts as a stress buffer or deterrent. Considerable literature suggests that some aspects of religion are consistently associated with adjustment to illness, and evidence for religion as a stress buffer and as a stress deterrent were found. Potential pathways by which religion may influence adjustment to illness were also delineated, including: (1) providing an interpretive framework or cognitive schema; (2) enhancing coping resources; and (3) facilitating access to social support and promoting social integration. Design, methodological and measurement limitations in the extant literature were noted. Further research is needed to elucidate how religion functions as a natural resource during health-related crises.
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This study attempted to identify positive and negative patterns of religious coping methods, develop a brief measure of these religious coping patterns, and examine their implications for health and adjustment. Through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. positive and negative religious coping patterns were identified in samples of people coping with the Oklahoma City bombing, college students coping with major life stressors, and elderly hospitalized patients coping with serious medical illnesses. A 14-item measure of positive and negative patterns of religious coping methods (Brief RCOPE) was constructed. The positive pattern consisted of religious forgiveness, seeking spiritual support, collaborative religious coping, spiritual connection, religious purification, and benevolent religious reappraisal. The negative pattern was defined by spiritual discontent, punishing God reappraisals, interpersonal religious discontent. demonic reappraisal, and reappraisal of God's powers. As predicted, people made more use of the positive than the negative religious coping methods. Furthermore, the two patterns had different implications for health and adjustment. The Brief RCOPE offers an efficient, theoretically meaningful way to integrate religious dimensions into models and studies of stress, coping, and health.
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This study attempted to identify positive and negative patterns of religious coping methods, develop a brief measure of these religious coping patterns, and examine their implications for health and adjustment. Through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, positive and negative religious coping patterns were identified in samples of people coping with the Oklahoma City bombing, college students coping with major life stressors, and elderly hospitalized patients coping with serious medical illnesses. A 14-item measure of positive and negative patterns of religious coping methods (Brief RCOPE) was constructed. The positive pattern consisted of religious forgiveness, seeking spiritual support, collaborative religious coping, spiritual connection, religious purification, and benevolent religious reappraisal. The negative pattern was defined by spiritual discontent, punishing God reappraisals, interpersonal religious discontent, demonic reappraisal, and reappraisal of God's powers. As predicted, people made more use of the positive than the negative religious coping methods. Furthermore, the two patterns had different implications for health and adjustment. The Brief RCOPE offers an efficient, theoretically meaningful way to integrate religious dimensions into models and studies of stress, coping, and health.
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Tested 3 hypotheses: (1) Social interest (SI) is of value in ameliorating or eliminating many of the unnecessary problems that occur in human relationships; (2) SI moderates the effect of later life stresses on psychological symptoms; and (3) the negative relation between SI and anxiety, depression, and hostility will be stronger in people who recently have experienced greater stress than in those who have encountered little stress. 74 undergraduates were administered the Social Interest Scale (SIS) and the Social Interest Index (SII), and then the Social Readjustment Rating Scale and the Multiple Affect Adjective Check List 1 yr later. It was found that scores on the SII and the SIS were negatively related to the number of stressful experiences encountered during the following year. Stress was correlated with anxiety, depression, and hostility more strongly among low- than among high-SI Ss, and SI was more negatively correlated with these symptoms among high-stress Ss compared with moderate- or low-stress groups. The SII and the SIS showed somewhat different patterns of results, and possible reasons for these differences are discussed. (49 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)