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Psychol Aging. 1987 Dec;2(4):349-56.

Life stress, social support, and self-esteem in an elderly population.

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School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-2029.


Findings in previous studies of the stress-buffering properties of social support have been erratic. This study suggests that at least part of the reason for those inconclusive findings may be that researchers are using oversimplified models of the stress process and limited statistical approaches to assess the effects. The findings in this study indicate that social support (a) helps to reduce the deleterious effects of stress on emotional disorder primarily by bolstering the self-esteem of older adults and (b) affects psychological well-being only indirectly through self-esteem. Two distinct approaches to the statistical estimation of stress-buffering effects are also examined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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