Why does Perceived Social Support Protect against Somatic Symptoms: Investigating the Roles of Emotional Self-Efficacy and Depressive Symptoms

Ingrida Grigaityte*, Patrik Söderberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The importance of close relationships has been confirmed for a wide range of health-related outcomes, yet the mechanisms by which social support influences physical health remains understudied. The aim of the study was to investigate the roles of emotional self-efficacy and depressive symptoms as mediators of the effect of social support on physical health, based on a regionally representative sample in Finland (N = 3 242, mean age = 15.0, sd = .41). A conditional process analysis found that (a) perceived social support was associated with less somatic symptoms, (b) the relationship between perceived social support was partially and significantly mediated by both emotional self-efficacy and depressive symptoms, and (c) there was sign of a moderated mediation: the association between perceived social support and somatic symptoms was stronger for girls than for boys, and this association was primarily accounted for by the mediating role of depressive symptoms. The present findings contribute to the existing literature on how regulated and dysregulated emotions influence pathways between social interaction and physical health.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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