PY4, Benefits of Relationships WJEC

The benefits of being in relationships based on the WJEC board.

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  • Created on: 11-06-11 19:46
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Emily Hunt
PY4, Psychology ­ Relationships
The benefits of being in a relationship
WJEC POTENTIAL question: Examine the benefits of relationships on the psychological well being
Increased Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is increased in many ways it's what you think of yourself whether your idea- self lives up
to your actual self. It can be increased by the support of your social relationships.
1. Social support
LANGER AND RODIN found that by giving elders the opportunities to have responsibility there was a
decrease in deaths. The elders who looked after a plant seemed a lot happier and self-worthy, than
those that did not. Also supporting Langer and Rodin, KRAUSE (1987) found that an increase in
social support decreased depression, resulting in self-worthy feelings.
2. Interactioon with stress
DRULEY AND TOWNSENT (1998), most beneficial support is most effective when stress is high.
They studied the effects of emotional support on unhealthy and healthy people, finding those that
are unhealthy most benefit. This may be because when we are at our worse we need those that are
close to boost self-esteem as high as possible.
There is a threat to Krause's' study on the validity that some had already high self-esteem
and he was measuring the impact on social skills instead of the other way round
Not all relationships will have a positive effect and be beneficial to the person.
Shows there is a need for close knit family when someone is stressed or going through a
hard time. That no one should be left alone as it may help with optimism.. Especially with
those that are depressed.
Buffering from Stress
Stress has a huge impact on a human's health, just like Selye's GAS theory explains the difficulty when
stress levels rise. Kamark et al (1990) found that those given stressful tasks with a friend had less of
a psychological response than those who performed them alone.
1. Main effect hypothesis
Relationships no matter how well you know the person are rewarding. Providing a sense of
belonging and boosting that all important self-esteem. The absence of this social aid may be the
cause to stressors. People with stronger networks are usually more health.
Supportive evidence: LIN ET AL, found that those with a close knit community had lower pychatric

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Emily Hunt
PY4, Psychology ­ Relationships
2. The Buffering hypothesis
Relationships protect us from the negative effects of stressors. Described like a vaccination your
friends/family/acquaintances protect you from an infection.
Supportive evidence: DELONGIS ET AL, found people in unsupportive marriages become more ill
when faced with stressors than those in a supportive marriage.
Good significant supportive evidence showing clear cause and effects
However...…read more


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