Is social support a cause or consequence of depression? A longitudinal study of adolescents

Ping Ren, Xingna Qin, Yunyun Zhang*, Ruiping Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
109 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

A large body of literature has examined the relations between social support and depression. However, the exact nature and direction of these relations are not well understood. This study explored the relations between specific types of social support (peer support and teacher support) and depression. Adolescents (ages 11 to 17) for the first time (N = 2453) participated in a two-wave, 6-month longitudinal study. Structural equation modeling was used to test a social causation model (deficits in social support increase the likelihood of depression), interpersonal theories of depression (depression leads to social erosion), and a reciprocal influence model. Depression influenced peer support significantly and negatively. By contrast, the social causation model was not supported. These results held for males and females. Findings suggested that depression resulted in social support erosion. However, the effect was specific to perceived peer support but not to perceived teacher support.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1634
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4-Sep-2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Depression
  • Longitudinal study
  • Peer support
  • Teacher support
  • TEACHER AUTONOMY SUPPORT
  • SELF-ESTEEM
  • PEER SUPPORT
  • SYMPTOMS
  • CHINESE
  • PARENT
  • ASSOCIATIONS
  • METAANALYSIS
  • PERSONALITY
  • TRANSITION

Cite this