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Health Commun. 2019 Jan;34(1):118-124. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2017.1384434. Epub 2017 Oct 20.

Indirect Effects of Social Skills on Health Through Stress and Loneliness.

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a Department of Communication , University of Arizona.


The social skills deficit vulnerability model predicts that people with inadequate social skills are at risk for a range of psychosocial problems, especially when confronted with stress. People with poor social skills often experience stress and loneliness and these two constructs were tested as potential pathways by which the poor social skills confer a risk for compromised mental and physical health. An online survey was completed by 775 adults, aged 18-91. The sample matched national demographics for race/ethnicity and age, among those over 18. Structural equation modeling revealed indirect effects of social skills on both mental and physical health through both stress and loneliness. The models showed that poor social skills were associated with poor mental and physical health through elevated stress and increased loneliness. The findings reveal that social skills deficits are associated with physical as well as mental health problems.

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