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Int J Psychophysiol. 2006 Nov;62(2):328-36. Epub 2006 Aug 14.

Social support and ambulatory blood pressure: an examination of both receiving and giving.

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1
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218-2686, USA. rpiferi@jhu.edu

Abstract

The relationship between the social network and physical health has been studied extensively and it has consistently been shown that individuals live longer, have fewer physical symptoms of illness, and have lower blood pressure when they are a member of a social network than when they are isolated. Much of the research has focused on the benefits of receiving social support from the network and the effects of giving to others within the network have been neglected. The goal of the present research was to systematically investigate the relationship between giving and ambulatory blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, and heart rate were recorded every 30 min during the day and every 60 min at night during a 24-h period. Linear mixed models analyses revealed that lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure were related to giving social support. Furthermore, correlational analyses revealed that participants with a higher tendency to give social support reported greater received social support, greater self-efficacy, greater self-esteem, less depression, and less stress than participants with a lower tendency to give social support to others. Structural equation modeling was also used to test a proposed model that giving and receiving social support represent separate pathways predicting blood pressure and health. From this study, it appears that giving social support may represent a unique construct from receiving social support and may exert a unique effect on health.

PMID:
16905215
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2006.06.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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