Project Advisor(s)

Dr. Austin Williamson

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Disciplines

Psychology

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

Previous research has shown a negative correlation between perceived support and depression. Findings regarding the association between received support and depression have been mixed. Some studies have observed negative correlations between received support and depression. Others have found no correlation or even a positive correlation between received support and depression. This study used meta-analysis to explore the difference between perceived support and received support with regard to their correlation with depression. Results showed that perceived support was negatively correlated with depression. However, received support was not significantly associated with depression. In order to understand the difference between these two correlations, we investigated life stress as a potential confounding variable. Given that previous research has demonstrated a strong positive correlation between stress and depression, the fact that stress may have a different impact on received versus perceived support could explain why those two constructs show different relationships with depression. Path analysis of the meta-analytically derived correlations showed that the correlation between received support and depression was stronger and statistically significant when controlling for life stress. The correlation between perceived support and depression was weaker after controlling for life stress. Perceived support is more strongly related to depression than received support, but part of this difference can be explained by the different effects of stress on these two forms of support.

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Social Support, Depression, and Life Stress: A Meta-Analytic Path Analysis

Previous research has shown a negative correlation between perceived support and depression. Findings regarding the association between received support and depression have been mixed. Some studies have observed negative correlations between received support and depression. Others have found no correlation or even a positive correlation between received support and depression. This study used meta-analysis to explore the difference between perceived support and received support with regard to their correlation with depression. Results showed that perceived support was negatively correlated with depression. However, received support was not significantly associated with depression. In order to understand the difference between these two correlations, we investigated life stress as a potential confounding variable. Given that previous research has demonstrated a strong positive correlation between stress and depression, the fact that stress may have a different impact on received versus perceived support could explain why those two constructs show different relationships with depression. Path analysis of the meta-analytically derived correlations showed that the correlation between received support and depression was stronger and statistically significant when controlling for life stress. The correlation between perceived support and depression was weaker after controlling for life stress. Perceived support is more strongly related to depression than received support, but part of this difference can be explained by the different effects of stress on these two forms of support.