To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The present study examined the extent to which social support (SS) availability and satisfaction could predict the extent of caregiver burden (CB) among mothers of children with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL).
The study was a cross-sectional, descriptive-correlative study. It was conducted on a sample of 117 mothers whose children were undergoing treatment in a public hospital in Bam, Iran. The Norbeck Social Support Scale and the Caregiver Burden Scale were used to measuring study variables. The data were analyzed using Pearson's correlations, t-tests, ANOVAs, and linear regressions.
Significant correlations were observed between CB and SS availability (r = −0.499, p < 0.001), SS satisfaction (r = −0.543, p < 0.001), the age of the child with cancer (r = −0.22, p = 0.01), and duration of treatment (r = 0.336, p < 0.001). Married mothers experienced less CB than those that were widowed or divorced. Within the regression equation, SS satisfaction, SS availability, marital status, and duration of treatment were the predictors of CB.
Significance of results
Based on the results of the current study, mothers who have less SS, especially those who are single mothers, with younger children, and who have taken care of their child for an extended duration should be given special attention. Furthermore, it appears that there are distinct cultural variations amongst Iranian mothers which suggest that culture may impact upon SS availability. Results also suggest a need for interventions that enhance nurses' ability to provide support to caregivers and the broader family unit as a whole. Nurses in cancer care need to have psychological competencies to help family members of cancer patients especially mothers and more so those that are single mothers. As integral members of the patient care experience, nurses may be uniquely positioned to provide this needed psychosocial support.
In interventions for at-risk children, Tom Dishion strongly exhorted programs that are short term, cost-effective, and delivered in families’ own communities, just as resilience researchers underscore the need for programs that provide ongoing support for children's primary caregivers, and are implementable on a large scale. Presented here are preliminary results on a short-term intervention for mothers, the Authentic Connections Virtual Groups. A previous randomized trial of the in-person version of this program, conducted with mothers at high risk for stress and burnout, showed significant benefits. There had been zero dropouts across the 3-month program, and participants showed significant improvements on psychological indices as well as cortisol, even 3 months after the program ended. In the present study, virtual groups were conducted with five sets of women, all white-collar professionals with highly stressful, exacting careers, and most also primary caregivers of their children. Again, there were zero dropouts. Mean satisfaction ratings were 9.6 of 10, and the Net Promoter Score (promoters vs. detractors) fell in the “world class” range. To illuminate mechanisms of change, participants’ responses to open-ended questions on the groups’ value are presented verbatim. Recurrently mentioned were the development of new, authentic connections and invaluable ongoing support. These results, with the low costs and ease of women's attendance, attest to the value of expanding offerings such as these, toward benefiting even more highly stressed mothers themselves as well as the children for whose care they are responsible.
A recurrent finding in personal network research is that individual and social outcomes are influenced not just by the kind of people one knows, but also by how those people are connected to each other. Personal network structure – the way in which one’s personal contacts know and interact with each other – reflects broader trends in social organization and personal communities, and shapes patterns of social capital, support, and isolation. This article proposes a method to identify typologies of structure in large collections of personal networks. The method is applied to six datasets collected in widely different circumstances and using various survey instruments. It is then compared with another recently introduced method to extract typologies of egocentric network structure. Findings show that personal network structure can be effectively summarized using just three measures of cohesive subgroup characteristics. Structural typologies can then be identified by applying standard cluster analysis techniques to the three variables. Both methods considered in the article capture significant variation in network structures, but they also show substantial levels of disagreement and cross-classification. I discuss similarities and differences between the methods, and potential applications of the proposed typologies to substantive research on personal communities, social support, and social capital.
Social support has been reported as beneficial for the psychological functioning of people coping with a disease. The objective of this study was to verify whether levels of perceived social support are associated with psychosocial functioning in women who have had a mastectomy and whether specific types of social support are linked to specific indices of functioning.
Seventy women with a history of mastectomy completed questionnaires measuring their psychosocial functioning as related to their health status: Disease-Related Appraisal Scale, Acceptance of Life with the Disease Scale and Beck Depression Inventory. All participants also completed a measure of perceived social support (Disease-Related Social Support Scale).
Women who reported higher levels of perceived social support revealed statistically significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms, higher appraisals of their disease in terms of challenge and value, and lower appraisals of their disease in terms of obstacle/loss. Women with greater social support also revealed higher levels of acceptance of life with the disease compared to those with less social support. Regression analyses showed that spiritual support was the type of support that significantly accounted for the variance in the majority of functioning indices. Some indices of functioning were also significantly accounted for by emotional and instrumental support.
Significance of the results
The process of psychological adjustment to a life-threatening disease such as breast cancer depends on multiple variables; however, social support, including spiritual support, seems to be one significant contributor to this process.
Caring for people in distress or illness is emotionally draining and physically demanding. This article focuses on the experiences and needs of health service staff as professional carers. It overviews the current circumstances in the UK and links readers to the findings of: the Stevenson/Farmer Review of 2017; the report of the General Medical Council on the state of medical education and practice of 2018; and the British Medical Association survey of doctors and medical students published in 2019. We review the sources of stress that affects healthcare practitioners and introduce the concepts of emotional labour, psychological safety and psychosocial resilience. We draw attention to the vital importance of social support and leadership to protecting healthcare staff. We conclude this review of the topic by outlining a stepped model for actions that aim to: develop staff of healthcare services and help them to thrive at work; support staff who are struggling at work; and intervene to care for staff who are distressed or unwell whether they are continuing to work or not.
After reading this article you will be able to:
•recognise the impact that healthcare staff's work has on them and their patients, and how stress may originate
•describe contemporary conceptual approaches to understanding the psychosocial experiences of healthcare staff and the components of good psychosocial care to mitigate their needs
•understand how lessons from research and experience might be used to improve employers' evidence-informed capabilities for caring for their staff.
Informal caregiving may likely increase as the number of cancer survivors grows. Caregiving responsibilities can impact caregivers’ quality of life (QOL). Understanding the current state of the science regarding caregiving QOL could help inform future research and intervention development.
A systematic literature review in PubMed/Medline examined research on QOL among informal cancer caregivers and related psychosocial health outcomes. Original research articles in English, published between 2007 and 2017 about caregivers (aged >18 years) of adult cancer patients in the United States were included. Abstracted articles were categorized according to caregiving recipient's phase of survivorship (acute, middle to long-term, end of life/bereavement).
Of 920 articles abstracted, 60 met inclusion criteria. Mean caregiver age ranged from 37 to 68 with the majority being female, non-Hispanic white, with at least a high school degree, and middle income. Almost half of the studies focused on caregivers who provided care for survivors from diagnosis through the end of active treatment. Studies examined physical health, spirituality, psychological distress, and social support. Differences in QOL were noted by caregiver age, sex, and employment status.
Significance of Results
Additional research includes the examination of the needs of diverse cancer caregivers and determines how additional caregiver characteristics (e.g., physical functioning, financial burden, etc.) affect QOL. This includes studies examining caregiver QOL in the phases following the cessation of active treatment and assessments of health systems, support services, and insurance to determine barriers and facilitators needed to meet the immediate and long-term needs of cancer caregivers.
In 2010, an important earthquake devastated Haiti and caused thousands of deaths. In a social context where women are particularly vulnerable, this cross-sectional study examined the associations between sexual assaults experienced by women before the earthquake, the earthquake exposure, the traumatic consequences, and their satisfaction of social support received.
A total of 660 women aged 18 to 86 completed questionnaires assessing exposure to the earthquake, sexual assault victimization, peritraumatic distress, Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and social support. A moderated moderation model was computed to examine associations between exposure to the earthquake, sexual assault, social support, and traumatic consequences.
Results showed that 31.06% of women were victims of sexual assault before the earthquake. They presented higher prevalence of peritraumatic distress, PTSD, and depression symptoms, compared to non-victims. The moderated-moderation model showed that sexual assault and exposure to the earthquake were positively associated with traumatic consequences (respectively, B = 0.560, p < 0.001; B = 0.196, p < 0.001), while social support was negatively associated with them (B = −0.095, p < 0.05). Results showed a triple interaction: women victim of sexual assault who were satisfied with received social support are less likely to develop traumatic consequences after being exposed to the earthquake(B = −0.141, p < 0.01).
By demonstrating the role of sexual assault in the development of mental health problems after the Haitian earthquake, this study shows the importance for clinicians to investigate interpersonal trauma experienced before or following natural disasters among survivors. Results also indicate the key role of family and communities to help survivors build resilience and coping strategies with their social support.
This study examined the role of social support in managing worry among a sample of Malaysian adults. An online questionnaire was completed by 136 participants (age M = 34, SD = 7.65; 71% female, 29% male). Each wrote open-ended, essay-type descriptions of their experiences with social support in relation to worry, as well as completing measures of pathological worry (Penn State Worry Questionnaire), normal worry (Worry Domains Questionnaire), and perceived social support (Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support). Results indicated that young adults experienced a higher degree of normal worry compared to older adults, but pathological worry was not significantly different between the two groups. No significant differences in worry were found in relation to gender, ethnicity or marital status. Perceived social support was negatively related to levels of both normal and pathological worry. Qualitative analyses pointed towards four important roles for social support: providing a sense of belonging and security, providing emotional relief or catharsis, helping to reappraise situations, and facilitating problem-solving and decision-making. The role of social support as a secure base that facilitates emotion management and helps to ground thinking is discussed.
There are many definitions of social isolation which draw on structural indicators (e.g. living alone), functional indicators (e.g. social support) or both. This makes comparing prevalence rates across studies difficult and provides little guidance for practitioners and service providers to identify and target socially isolated clients. The purpose of the present study was to compare, within one large population-based data-set of Canadians aged 45–85, single-item and composite indicators of social isolation, by total sample and by socio-demographics (age, sex) and health. Data were from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) which assessed features of social network, social support and social participation. Two composite scales were created to compare prevalence rates based on structural only or both structural and functional indicators. Results indicated overall low prevalence rates of social isolation, regardless of the measure used. A composite scale using only structural features identified 5.8 per cent socially isolated adults aged 45–85. This compared with a structural and functional scale that identified 9.8 per cent socially isolated adults. The composite measures showed less variation across socio-demographics than single-item measures. Results shed light on different ways in which social isolation can be defined and how single-item and composite definitions impact our understanding of identifying socially isolated adults in a given population. Results add to discussion of measures that can be used by researchers, services providers and practitioners.
One of the job resources most strongly associated with nurses’ well-being and motivation is social support. However, the psychosocial mechanisms that would explain this relationship have not been sufficiently researched. Thus, the main aim of this study was analyze whether this relationship could be mediated by two variables: role ambiguity and psychological flexibility. A total of 196 nurses from various Spanish hospitals and primary health care centers participated in this cross-sectional study. A multiple mediation analysis was run using the “PROCESS” macro script in SPSS 23.0. The results showed that co-worker support was related to higher levels of vigor and vitality through role ambiguity (Estimate = .158, 95% CI [.050, .298], and Estimate = .212, 95% CI [.076, .390], respectively). The same applied to supervisor support, (Estimate = .197, 95% CI [.059, .378], and Estimate = .212, 95% CI [.076, .390], respectively). Co-worker support was also related to higher levels of vigor and vitality through psychological flexibility, (Estimate = .132, 95% CI [.048, .271], and Estimate = .216, 95% CI [.086, .394], respectively). The same applied to supervisor support (Estimate = .092, 95% CI [.024, .208], and Estimate = .157, 95% CI [.035, .333], respectively). However, in the relationships between co-worker, supervisor support and exhaustion, only psychological flexibility played a mediating role. In conclusion, social support in nursing is a job resource that is associated with high levels of energy and motivation among nurses through the mediating role of certain job demands and personal resources.
Whereas genetic susceptibility increases the risk for major depressive disorder (MDD), non-genetic protective factors may mitigate this risk. In a large-scale prospective study of US Army soldiers, we examined whether trait resilience and/or unit cohesion could protect against the onset of MDD following combat deployment, even in soldiers at high polygenic risk.
Data were analyzed from 3079 soldiers of European ancestry assessed before and after their deployment to Afghanistan. Incident MDD was defined as no MDD episode at pre-deployment, followed by a MDD episode following deployment. Polygenic risk scores were constructed from a large-scale genome-wide association study of major depression. We first examined the main effects of the MDD PRS and each protective factor on incident MDD. We then tested the effects of each protective factor on incident MDD across strata of polygenic risk.
Polygenic risk showed a dose–response relationship to depression, such that soldiers at high polygenic risk had greatest odds for incident MDD. Both unit cohesion and trait resilience were prospectively associated with reduced risk for incident MDD. Notably, the protective effect of unit cohesion persisted even in soldiers at highest polygenic risk.
Polygenic risk was associated with new-onset MDD in deployed soldiers. However, unit cohesion – an index of perceived support and morale – was protective against incident MDD even among those at highest genetic risk, and may represent a potent target for promoting resilience in vulnerable soldiers. Findings illustrate the value of combining genomic and environmental data in a prospective design to identify robust protective factors for mental health.
Human beings are social entities – our development occurs in and through interaction with others. Thus, it seems likely that relationships influence the development of wisdom, especially long-term intimate relationships in which couples share many important life experiences, and that wisdom, in turn, influences relationships. How wisdom relates to characteristics of intimate relationships has received little attention in the research literature. As a first step in a research program addressing this question, this study analyzed associations between participants’ levels of wisdom and their views of a good relationship.
Design and Participants:
A sample of 155 individuals aged 23-90 years participated in two sessions including semi-structured qualitative interviews and questionnaires.
The participants were interviewed about their views of a good intimate relationship. Wisdom was measured using a self-report scale and two open-ended performance measures.
Wisdom was significantly related to some of the content categories identified in participants’ views about a good relationship, although some correlations differed between wisdom measures. Emphasizing the relevance of mutual respect and conscious attention in relationships was related to both performance measures of wisdom. Paying considerate attention to the relationship and viewing it as a chance for personal development were each related to one measure of wisdom.
The results support the notion that wisdom is related to how participants regulate long-term relationships. We consider them as a promising first step in a research program investigating the dynamic interrelation between wisdom and intimate relationships.
Understanding how social experiences throughout life shape later loneliness levels may help to identify how to alleviate loneliness at later lifestages. This study investigates the association between social relationship adversities throughout the lifecourse and loneliness in later life. Using prospective data from the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development (N = 2,453), we conducted multivariable analyses to investigate independent, cumulative and moderated effects between the number of social relationship adversities experienced in childhood, mid-adulthood and later adulthood and the feeling of loneliness at age 68. We examined interactions between social relationship adversities and current quantity and quality aspects of social relationships. We found evidence of a step-dose response where greater exposure to social relationship adversities experienced at three earlier lifestages predicted higher loneliness levels in later life with more recent social relationship adversities more strongly related to loneliness. The results also demonstrated support for exacerbation and amelioration of earlier adverse social relationship experiences by current social isolation and relationship quality, respectively. This study suggests that social relationship adversities experienced throughout the lifecourse continue to influence loneliness levels much later in life. A key finding is that adverse social relationship experiences in earlier life may explain why otherwise socially similar individuals differ in their levels of loneliness. Implications for policy and research are discussed.
Childhood adversity (CA) increases the risk of subsequent mental health problems. Adolescent social support (from family and/or friends) reduces the risk of mental health problems after CA. However, the mechanisms of this effect remain unclear, and we speculate that they are manifested on neurodevelopmental levels. Therefore, we investigated whether family and/or friendship support at ages 14 and 17 function as intermediate variables for the relationship between CA before age 11 and affective or neural responses to social rejection feedback at age 18. We studied 55 adolescents with normative mental health at age 18 (26 with CA and therefore considered “resilient”), from a longitudinal cohort. Participants underwent a Social Feedback Task in the magnetic resonance imaging scanner. Social rejection feedback activated the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and the left anterior insula. CA did not predict affective or neural responses to social rejection at age 18. Yet, CA predicted better friendships at age 14 and age 18, when adolescents with and without CA had comparable mood levels. Thus, adolescents with CA and normative mood levels have more adolescent friendship support and seem to have normal mood and neural responses to social rejection.
In this study, we explored the effects of mentor and mentee insecure attachment dispositions (ambivalence and avoidance) on mentoring relationship quality while considering the specific nature of the interactive mentoring context. Participants (N = 252 matches) were enrolled in the MIRES program, a one-year college-based mentoring program that matches late adolescent mentees (17-year-olds) with young adult mentors (23-year-olds), designed to facilitate the transition to college. Using data drawn from mentors’ logbooks (at nine time points), two interactive contexts were addressed: (1) situations involving mentee academic issues and mentor proactive academic support (academically oriented), and (2) situations involving mentee personal issues and mentor emotional support, and caring (emotionally oriented). Linear regression results showed that both mentors’ and mentees’ avoidance uniquely predicted lower reports of mentoring relationship quality, but especially in emotionally oriented matches and when their partners’ attachment ambivalence was high. In matches less focused on emotional support, mentors’ attachment avoidance interacted with mentees’ ambivalence to predict positive mentoring relationship quality. Theoretical, practical, and mentor training issues are discussed.
Positive social relationships are known to mitigate the negative effects of stress on mental health. However, the direction of association between social resources and mental health remains unclear, and it is not known whether higher than average levels of social resources confer additional benefits, in the short and longer term.
To investigate the concurrent and longitudinal contribution of higher levels of social resources in reducing the risk of mental health symptoms after exposure to stress at age 45, and to identify life-course precursors of mid-life social resources.
The National Child Development Study (NCDS) is a prospective birth cohort of over 17 000 births in 1958. We tested concurrent and longitudinal associations between different levels of social resources at age 45 and mental health symptoms among individuals exposed to stress and verified whether prior mental health symptoms (age 42) explained these associations. We also tested a range of child, family and adult precursors of mid-life social resources.
Higher than average levels of social resources were required to confer benefits to mental health among individuals exposed to high stress levels, both concurrently at age 45 and in the longer term at age 50. In general, these associations were not attributable to prior mental health symptoms. Key predictors of mid-life social resources included evidence of early sociability.
Having a broad network of social ties and better personal support helps individuals withstand exposure to higher levels of stress. Given that sociable children had better mid-life social resources, early intervention may benefit individuals' social resources later in life.
Sophisticated medical technologies can prolong a stroke patient’s life but not always their quality of life (QoL) due to poor functional outcomes. Social support can theoretically assist a patient’s adaptation to life after stroke and improve their QoL, but existing findings are inconclusive. This inconclusiveness is especially found in large cities where family and social bonding can be scarce. We conducted a hospital-based, cross-sectional study among 358 stroke patients to identify the effects of social support and functional outcome on QoL and its domains. The study took place in Bangkok, Thailand between July and December 2016. Data were collected by personal interview using a structured questionnaire that included the Short-Form WHO Quality of Life Instrument (WHOQOL-BREF) and by review of medical records. A hierarchical linear regression method was used to analyze data. The mean age of stroke respondents was 66.0 years (SD 13.5 years), and half were male. The mean total QoL score for patients was 68.6 (SD 15.2). Hierarchical multiple regression analysis found emotional support significantly impacted QoL in every domain (ps < .05) when all included variables were controlled for. To improve the quality of life among stroke survivors, health personnel and family members should provide not only physical assistance but also psychological support.
There is a growing population of ageing individuals living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Older adults living with HIV often contend with intersecting stigmas including HIV stigma, ageism and, for some, homonegativity and/or racism. Although the HIV stigma literature is quite robust, research on the relationship between HIV stigma, social support and mental wellbeing among older adults living with HIV is limited. This study begins to address this gap by examining how intersectional stigma affects social support and mental wellbeing among rural-dwelling older adults living with HIV. Qualitative interviews were conducted by phone with 29 older adults living with HIV, over the age of 50, living in rural areas of the United States of America. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic content analysis in MAXQDA qualitative analysis software. Analysis revealed three primary themes. The first had to do with gossip and non-disclosure of HIV status, which intersected with ageism and homonegativity to exacerbate experiences that fell within the remaining themes of experiences of physical and psychological isolation and loneliness, and shame and silence surrounding depression. The prevalence of social isolation and the effects of limited social support among older adults living with HIV are prominent and indicate a need for tailored interventions within the HIV care continuum for older adults living with HIV.
As the world undergoes rapid ageing, informal support from friends and relatives is becoming especially important among older adults in middle- and low-income countries, where formalised social protections may be limited. We use new data from a cohort of adults aged 40 and older in rural South Africa to explore how receipt of emotional support differs by gender and marital status. Our findings suggest that women are more likely to get emotional support than men and have more sources of support. Moreover, women are more likely to get emotional support from relatives, whereas men are more likely to get support from friends. In regard to marital status, married people are more likely to get emotional support and have more sources of support than people who are not married. However, separated/divorced and widowed people are more likely to get emotional support from relatives and have more sources of non-spousal support than married people. These findings point towards gaps in informal systems of support, and the particular importance of considering men and unmarried (especially never-married) people when designing policies to offer social protections to older populations.
There is little investigation on the interaction effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and social support on non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), suicidal ideation and suicide attempt in community adolescent populations, or gender differences in these effects.
To examine the individual and interaction effects of ACEs and social support on NSSI, suicidal ideation and suicide attempt in adolescents, and explore gender differences.
A school-based health survey was conducted in three provinces in China between 2013–2014. A total of 14 820 students aged 10–20 years completed standard questionnaires, to record details of ACEs, social support, NSSI, suicidal ideation and suicide attempt.
Of included participants, 89.4% reported one or more category of ACEs. The 12-month prevalence of NSSI, suicidal ideation and suicide attempt was 26.1%, 17.5% and 4.4%, respectively; all were significantly associated with increased ACEs and lower social support. The multiple adjusted odds ratio of NSSI in low versus high social support was 2.27 (95% CI 1.85–2.67) for girls and 1.81 (95% CI 1.53–2.14) for boys, and their ratio (Ratio of two odds ratios, ROR) was 1.25 (P = 0.037). Girls with high ACEs scores (5–6) and moderate or low social support also had a higher risk of suicide attempt than boys (RORs: 2.34, 1.84 and 2.02, respectively; all P < 0.05).
ACEs and low social support are associated with increased risk of NSSI and suicidality in Chinese adolescents. Strategies to improve social support, particularly among female adolescents with a high number of ACEs, should be an integral component of targeted mental health interventions.