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The Multidimensional Nature of Social Support in Contributing to Adjustment Following Spousal Loss

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Spousal loss is a common, significant life event that can negatively affect multiple facets of individual health and psychological adjustment. Social support is one factor that is shown to improve adjustment following spousal loss, but much less is known regarding

Spousal loss is a common, significant life event that can negatively affect multiple facets of individual health and psychological adjustment. Social support is one factor that is shown to improve adjustment following spousal loss, but much less is known regarding which facet of social support is most predictive of positive adjustment outcomes following spousal loss. This study examined the course of changes in mental health and well-being following spousal loss and which facets of social support are associated with better outcomes following spousal loss. Latent growth curve modeling was applied to data from 265 widowed individuals, ages 65 and older, across four assessments (baseline, and 6-, 18-, and 48- months following spousal loss). I examined the following research questions: (1) adjustment following spousal loss will follow a trajectory of an increase in depressive symptoms and anxiety and decrease in well-being with a leveling-off over time, with between-person differences, and (2) emotional support and instrumental support given will lead to more positive adjustment outcomes over time. Depressive symptoms followed the hypothesized trajectory but anxiety and well-being showed relative stability before and after spousal loss. Instrumental support was the most beneficial facet of social support, such that receiving more instrumental support was associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms and anxiety 6-months following spousal loss. Giving more instrumental support led to an increase in well-being following spousal loss. Instrumental support given and received led to increases in well-being as a function of spousal loss. The discussion focuses on whether and how these findings can help to identify ways through which support and help can be given to individuals to improve adjustment to spousal loss and fully recover.

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Date Created
2017-12

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The Effect of Work-Life Balance on Subjective Well-Being and Social Support in Midlife

Description

Understanding work-life balance is crucial for improving the work environment, managing work and personal demands, and maintaining well-being. However, scientific literature regarding work-life balance has not adequately investigated its long-term relationships with subjective well-being and social support factors. Up to

Understanding work-life balance is crucial for improving the work environment, managing work and personal demands, and maintaining well-being. However, scientific literature regarding work-life balance has not adequately investigated its long-term relationships with subjective well-being and social support factors. Up to this point, empirical research uses cross-sectional or short-term longitudinal data and is focused on broad outcomes related to work-life balance. The current study adds to the literature by breaking down work-life balance into work interference, how work experiences negatively contribute to personal life, and work enhancement, how work experiences positively contribute to personal life. Work-life balance factors will be explored with relationships between three components of subjective well-being: positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction. Additional examined relationships are between work-life balance factors and quality of social support through positive and negative relationships with spouse, family, and friends. Finally, the relationships with work-life balance are examined with potential covariates. The research questions will be tested with multilevel models using data collected from 2006 \u2014 2014 from the Health and Retirement Study, a longitudinal panel survey of participants in midlife and old age. In short, work enhancement is predictive of the level and change in life satisfaction and positive factors; work interference is predictive of the level and change in negative factors. The discussion focuses on understanding the directionality of the relationships and how future research can build upon the understanding of subjective well-being and social support.

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Date Created
2016-12

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Prospective Relations between Subjective Social Status and Depressive Symptoms in a Middle-Aged Community Sample: Exploring Biopsychosocial Mechanisms

Description

Subjective social status (SSS) is a marker of perceived social rank that has been linked with depressive symptoms over and above objective socioeconomic status (SES),
but longitudinal studies are limited. SSS has been theorized to capture perceived relative
versus absolute

Subjective social status (SSS) is a marker of perceived social rank that has been linked with depressive symptoms over and above objective socioeconomic status (SES),
but longitudinal studies are limited. SSS has been theorized to capture perceived relative
versus absolute deprivation and the corresponding psychosocial processes underlying
status-based disparities in health. The literature suggests that upward social comparisons
inherent in appraising SSS may confer psychosocial risk, which may in turn increase risk
for depressive symptoms and stress-related inflammation involved in the pathogenesis of
depression. However, no studies have examined whether interpersonal and biological
factors simultaneously contribute to the inverse relation between SSS and depressive
symptoms. This study examined whether (1) lower SSS was longitudinally associated
with increased depressive mood symptoms, independent of income, and (2) whether
higher social strain and lower social support simultaneously mediated the SSS—
depressive mood symptoms relation directly and indirectly through higher interleukin-6
(IL-6). This study utilized secondary data from a representative community sample of
804 middle-aged adults taking part in a study of healthy aging between 2007 and 2012.
Plasma levels of IL-6 and self-reported SSS, social support, and social strain were
assessed at baseline, followed by an assessment of depressive mood symptoms by phone
interview on average 20 months later. Results from multiple regression analysis revealed
that lower SSS predicted higher depressive symptoms at follow-up after adjustment for
sociodemographic characteristics and baseline depressive mood symptoms. Path analysis
indicated that social strain significantly mediated the relation between SSS and
depressive mood symptoms, but not after adjustment for baseline mood symptoms.
Lower social support mediated the relation between lower SSS and higher depressive
symptoms, but relations were non-significant in adjusted models. Contrary to predictions,
paths including IL-6 were not significant. Lower SSS may represent a robust risk factor
for subsequent depressive mood symptoms above and beyond income, in line with the
conceptualization of SSS as a measure of relative deprivation. Further research
examining biopsychosocial mechanisms would elucidate the implications of perceived
low status and inform intervention efforts aimed at reducing the global burden of
depressive symptoms.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2021

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Effect of Social Support on Health Empowerment and Perceived Well-Being in Adults Impacted By Cancer: A Program Evaluation

Description

Background: Cancer impacts the lives of millions of patients, families and caregivers annually
leading to chronic stress, a sense of powerlessness, and decreased autonomy. Social support may improve health empowerment and lead to increased perception of well-being.

Purpose: The purpose of

Background: Cancer impacts the lives of millions of patients, families and caregivers annually
leading to chronic stress, a sense of powerlessness, and decreased autonomy. Social support may improve health empowerment and lead to increased perception of well-being.

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of social support provided by a cancer support agency on health empowerment and perceived well-being in adults impacted by cancer.

Conceptual Framework: The Health Empowerment Theory maintains that perceived wellbeing is the desired outcome; mediated by health empowerment through social support, personal growth, and purposeful participation in active goal attainment.

Methods: Twelve adults impacted by cancer agreed to complete online questionnaires at
baseline and at 12 weeks after beginning participation in social support programs provided by a cancer support agency.
Instruments included: Patient Empowerment Scale, The Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (SWEMWBS), and The Office of National Statistics (ONS) Subjective Well-Being Questions.

Results: Four participants completed pre and post surveys. An increase was seen in
empowerment scores (pre M = 1.78, SD = 0.35 and post M = 3.05, SD = 0.42). There was no
increase in perceived well-being: SWEMWBS pre (M= 3.71, SD= 0.76), post (M= 3.57, SD=
0.65); ONS pre (M= 7.69, SD= 1.36), post (M= 6.59, SD= 1.52).

Implications: The data showed an increase in health empowerment scores after utilizing social support programs, lending support to the agency’s support strategies. It is recommended that the measures be included in surveys routinely conducted by the agency to continue to assess the impact of programming on health empowerment, and perceived well-being.

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Created

Date Created
2017-05-03