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The effects of social support, inclusion in social networks and alcohol consumption on depressive symptoms in the adult urban population of the UK and of Central and Eastern Europe

Franchi, M; (2016) The effects of social support, inclusion in social networks and alcohol consumption on depressive symptoms in the adult urban population of the UK and of Central and Eastern Europe. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Depression is the most common mental disorder and the leading cause of disability worldwide. Three main risk factors for depression are inclusion in social networks, social support and alcohol consumption. Although research has focused on the association between each risk factor and depression, virtually no study has yet attempted to investigate how they interact in affecting the risk of depression. This thesis aims to fill this gap in our understanding of risk factors for depression. / Methods: The association between social support, inclusion in social networks, alcohol consumption and depressive symptoms was investigated in three ways. First cross-sectionally, using data from the Whitehall II and HAPIEE cohorts to compare the patterns of association observed in the UK with those observed in Central and Eastern Europe. Then longitudinally, using data from four phases of the Whitehall II cohort to assess the magnitude and duration of the association. Finally, through growth curve models aimed at modelling patterns of covariation between social support, inclusion in social networks, alcohol consumption and depressive symptoms through time. / Results: In all four countries odds of depressive symptoms were higher among individuals who did not have or never saw their friends and relatives. In Central and Eastern Europe high odds of depressive symptoms were found among both abstainers and heavy drinkers. In the UK, negative social support, social isolation, daily drinking and abstention were predictive of high odds of depressive symptoms for as long as nineteen years. Participants who suffered from intense depressive symptoms, were socially isolated and received inadequate support were more likely to engage in frequent drinking than their more socially connected counterparts. This suggests that interventions aimed at improving social connections could prove particularly effective in preventing depressive symptoms but also at containing hazardous alcohol consumption.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The effects of social support, inclusion in social networks and alcohol consumption on depressive symptoms in the adult urban population of the UK and of Central and Eastern Europe
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1507764
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