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Coping With Depressive Symptoms in Young Adults: Perceived Social Support Protects Against Depressive Symptoms Only Under Moderate Levels of Stress

Ioannou, M; Kassianos, AP; Symeou, M; (2019) Coping With Depressive Symptoms in Young Adults: Perceived Social Support Protects Against Depressive Symptoms Only Under Moderate Levels of Stress. Frontiers in Psychology , 9 , Article 2780. 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02780. Green open access

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Abstract

Introduction: The interrelationship between social support, depressive symptoms, stress and self-esteem in young adults remains unclear. This study aims to test the mediating role of self-esteem in the relationship between social support and depressive symptoms and the moderating role of perceived stress in the relationship between the two. This is important to inform components of future intervention development targeting youth depression. Methods: Three hundred forty-four (N = 344) young adults in Cyprus aged 17–26 (78% female) completed measures of self-esteem, social support, depressive symptoms, and perceived stress. Structural equation models were used to examine the interactions between social support and depressive psychopathology, whereas mediational analyses were run to examine the mediating role of self-esteem. Latent moderated mediation models were applied to examine the potentially moderating role of perceived stress. Results: Perceived social support from family and friends were significantly related to lower depressive symptoms. Self-esteem fully mediated the relationship between perceived family support and depressive symptoms. Perceived stress moderated the model, and perceived social support was found to be more protective against depressive symptoms when moderate levels of stress were presented. Conclusion: The study demonstrates that social support is protective against depressive symptoms. Self-esteem and perceived stress are important mechanisms that interact with this effect. Implications include the efforts to increase perceived family support during college years and management of stress levels before working with depressive symptoms.

Type: Article
Title: Coping With Depressive Symptoms in Young Adults: Perceived Social Support Protects Against Depressive Symptoms Only Under Moderate Levels of Stress
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02780
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02780
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2019 Ioannou, Kassianos and Symeou. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: perceived social support, depressive symptoms, self-esteem, perceived stress, mediation, young adults
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Applied Health Research
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10067389
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