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Social Support, Life Events, and Depression - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780124506602, 9781483276311

Social Support, Life Events, and Depression

1st Edition

Editors: Nan Lin Alfred Dean Walter M. Ensel
eBook ISBN: 9781483276311
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 20th December 1985
Page Count: 394
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Social Support, Life Events, and Depression describes a research program that looked into the social process of mental health. This research program provided an arena for opportunities to explore many topics concerning the relationships among social support, life events, and mental health (primarily depressive symptoms).
The volume is organized into six parts. Part I sets the background and scope of the study. Part II focuses on the dependent variable (depression), one of the two independent variables (life events], and the key control variable [psychological resources). Part III describes the measurement of social support. Part IV examines the basic models involving social support, life events, psychological resources, and depression. Part V proceeds to examine the reduced basic model in terms of a number of factors, such as age, sex, marital status, social class, and history of prior illness. Part VI discusses several specific issues regarding the dynamics of social support.
This book is intended primarily for researchers, scientists, professionals, and instructors who are interested in examining both conceptual and methodological issues regarding social factors in mental health. Thus, those working in the area of public health, social and behavioral sciences, and medical professions may find this book useful. Because of the way the chapters are organized, it is possible for researchers and practitioners alike to select and read chapters pertinent to their specific interests.

Table of Contents




Part I Identifying Basic Issues and Approach

1 Social Support in Epidemiological Perspective




Causal Modeling

Specifications and Elaborations

2 Conceptualizing Social Support


Conceptualizations of Social Support

The Synthetic Definition of Social Support

Further Discussion of the Synthetic Definition

A Theory of Social Resources and Social Support


3 Study Design and Data

The Albany Area Health Survey

The Pretest

Sampling Design

Representativeness of the Sample

The Interview Schedules

Time Frames for Questions

The Interviewing Staff


Part II Measuring Depression, Life Events, and Psychological Resources

4 Measuring Depression: the CES-D Scale


Measuring Depression: Mood, Symptom, or Syndrome?

The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale: History of Development

Types of Depressive Symptomatology

Reliability and Validity of the CES-D Scale in the Current Study: A Comparison with Previous Work

Relationship of the CES-D Scale over Time

The CES-D and Clinical Caseness


5 Measuring Life Events


The Stress(or) Construct

Analytic Tasks

Our Measurement of Life Events

Statistical Description of Life-Events Scales


6 Measuring Psychological Resources


Present Objectives

The Concept of Personal Competence

The Concept of Self-Esteem

Over-Time Correlations

Testing the Proxy Issue

Factor Analyses of Personal Competence and Self-Esteem


Part III Measuring Social Support

7 Measuring Intimate Support: the Family and Confidant Relationships


Analysis of the Medalie-Goldbourt Scale of Family Relationships

Confidant Support: Conceptualization and Measurement


Summary and Conclusions

8 Measuring the Instrumental and Expressive Functions of Social Support

Scale Development

Total Scale Reliability and Validity

Determining Dimensions of the Instrumental and Expressive Items

Factor Analysis

Further Development: Strong-Tie Support

Reliability and Validity of Strong-Tie Support

Criticisms of the Instrumental and Expressive Supportive Scales: An Empirical Test

Summary and Implications

9 Measuring Community and Network Support


Community Support

Network Support

Concluding Remarks

Part IV Constructing and Estimating Basic Models

10 Modeling the Effects of Social Support


Modeling the Effects of Social Support

Properties and Implications of the Models

Evidence from Other Studies

Data and the Analytic Technique

The Additive Models (Models 2, 3, and 4)

Class A Models

Class Β Models

Class C Models

The Interactive Models

Models of Joint Additive and Interactive Effects


Part V Exploring Basic Models

11 The Age Structure and the Stress Process

Relationship between Age and Depression

Construction of Age Categories

Age-Related Effects of Life Events and Social Support on Depression

Further Age-Group Refinements

Summary and Implications

12 Sex, Marital Status, and Depression: the Role of Life Events and Social Support

Gender, Marital Status, and Depression: a Review

The Confounding Issue: Marital Status as a Stressor or as a Social Support

The Model of Sex, Marital Status, Life Events, Social Support, and Depression

Sex, Marital Status, and Depression

Sex, Marital Status, Life Events, and Social Support

Independent Effects of Life Events and Social Support

Joint Effects, Mediating Effects, and Interaction Effects

Summary and Implications

13 Social Glass and Depressive Symptomatology


Male-Female Class Difference in Vulnerability

Socioeconomic Characteristics of Males and Females

Social Class, Life Events, Social Support, and Depression

Class-Oriented Effects of Life Events and Social Support on Depression

Class and the Mediating Role of Social Support

Class and the Suppressing Role of Social Support


14 Prior History of Illness in the Basic Model

Prior History of Illness

The Event-Proneness Model

Physical Illness and Psychological Distress

Models to be Examined

The Measure of Adverse Physical Health

Model 1: The Event-Proneness Hypothesis (Physical Illness and Life Events)

Model 2: The Modified Event-Proneness Hypothesis: Prior Physical Illness, Life Events, and Subsequent Psychological Symptoms

Model 3: The Basic Model (Life Events, Social Support, and Depression) with Prior Illness


Part VI Examining Alternative Approaches to the Basic Models

15 Gender of the Confidant and Depression

Gender Differences in Well-Being

Data and Measurement

Marital Change and Confidants

Multivariate Analysis

Summary and Discussion

16 Buffering the Impact of the Most Important Life Event


Prerequisites and Elements of the Buffering Model

Design and Hypotheses

The Measures

Effect of the Most Important Life Event

Buffering Effects of Strong Ties


17 Epilogue: In Retrospect and Prospect

Summary of Major Findings

Future Research Agenda

Toward a Theory of the Internal Structure of Social Support


Author Index

Subject Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1986
20th December 1985
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Editors

Nan Lin

Alfred Dean

Walter M. Ensel

Ratings and Reviews