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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1997 Apr;72(4):918-28.

Social context, coping strategies, and depressive symptoms: an expanded model with cardiac patients.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin 78712, USA. holahan@psy.utexas.edu


This research broadened and refined a resources model of coping to encompass negative as well as positive aspects of social relationships and examined this expanded conceptualization in a 4-year prospective model with 183 cardiac patients (140 men and 43 women). Social support and social stressors in the family and extrafamily domains contributed significantly to a common social context latent construct. In addition, this conceptualization of social context was significantly related to depressive symptoms 4 years later. Especially important conceptually, coping strategies functioned as a mechanism through which both social support and social stressors related to subsequent depressive symptoms. Moreover, positive and negative aspects of social relationships made essentially unique contributions in predicting subsequent coping efforts.

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