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Relation between family strain and depressive symptoms in middle-aged adults: the moderating effect of self-compassion

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Interpersonal strain is linked with depressive symptoms in middle-aged adults. Self-compassion is an emerging resilience construct that may be advantageous in navigating relationship strain by helping individuals respond to emotions in a kind and nonjudgmental way. Although theory and empirical

Interpersonal strain is linked with depressive symptoms in middle-aged adults. Self-compassion is an emerging resilience construct that may be advantageous in navigating relationship strain by helping individuals respond to emotions in a kind and nonjudgmental way. Although theory and empirical evidence suggests that self-compassion is protective against the impact of stress on mental health outcomes, many studies have not investigated how self-compassion operates in the context of relationship strain. In addition, few studies have examined psychological or physiological mechanisms by which self-compassion protects against mental health outcomes, depression in particular. Thus, this study examined 1) the extent to which trait self-compassion buffers the relation between family strain and depressive symptoms, and 2) whether these buffering effects are mediated by hope and inflammatory processes (IL-6) in a sample of 762 middle-aged, community-dwelling adults. Results from structural equation models indicated that family strain was unrelated to depressive symptoms and the relation was not moderated by self-compassion. Hope, but not IL-6, mediated the relation between family strain and depressive symptoms and the indirect effect was not conditional on levels of self-compassion. Taken together, the findings suggest that family strain may lead individuals to experience less hope and subsequent increases in depressive symptoms, and further, that a self-compassionate attitude does not affect this relation. Implications for future self-compassion interventions are discussed.

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Date Created
2019

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

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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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Date Created
2021

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Are familism values, family communication, and sleep associated with depressive symptoms?: an investigation of Latino youth well-being over the transition to college

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The transition out of high school is a major milestone for adolescents as they earn greater autonomy and responsibilities. An estimated 69.2% of adolescents enroll in higher education immediately following high school completion, including increasing numbers of Latino adolescents (National

The transition out of high school is a major milestone for adolescents as they earn greater autonomy and responsibilities. An estimated 69.2% of adolescents enroll in higher education immediately following high school completion, including increasing numbers of Latino adolescents (National Center for Education Statistics, 2016). Integrative model (García Coll et al., 1996) suggests a need for research on promotive and protective contextual factors for ethnic minority children and adolescents. Guided by the model, the proposed research will explore a salient Latino cultural value, familism, and family communication as predictors of changes in depressive symptoms from high school to university among Latino adolescents (N = 209; 35.6% male; Mage=17.59, SD=.53). Furthermore, sleep, a key bioregulatory mechanism, was explored as a potential moderator of these processes (Dahl & El-Sheikh, 2007). On average, familism values were not associated with college depressive symptoms, but family communication was significantly negatively associated with college depressive symptoms. Neither sleep duration nor sleep problems significantly moderated the association between familism values and college depressive symptom. Patterns were similar for family communication. The interaction between sleep problems and familism-support values were significantly associated with college depressive symptoms. However, when simple slopes were probed, none were significant.

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Date Created
2019