PY4 Relationships - Effects of Relationships on Psychological Well-being

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Effect of Relationships on Psychological Well-being

H! - However F+ - Furthermore  BH - Buffering Hypothesis  G - Genie

 TH - Therefore

Evidence there is a connection between having good social relationships and the risk of mental issues. Connection = marriage + general social support e.g. family & friends.
Schwarzer + Leppin (1992) – Meta-analysis of 70 studies = a correlation of -0.22 between social support & depression indication that individuals with the most support are less likely to be depressed.

Cochrane (1988) – connection between relationship status and admission to mental health.
Married = Lower rate of admission (0.26%) Divorced = Highest rate of admission (1.40%) Research implies that stress can lead to mental health problems when there is low social support. 

Argule + Henderson (1985) – supports BH = divorced/separated more likely to suffer mental health or commit suicide than those married suggests: relationships help maintain an individual’s mental health & act as a ‘buffer’ reducing risk of mental illness.
H! – may not be the lack of close relationship which is necessarily the cause of the high levels of depression in single people.

Marriage = stress!
Homes + Rahe (1967) – stress scales. SRS lists several life changing events which cause stress related to relationships e.g. “death of a spouse”, & “divorce”.

Suggest:  whilst relationships can be a good source of support they can also be the root of many negative effects.
Buffering Hypothesis = not only applies to romantic relationships but friendships & family relationships too. Studies of patients diagnosed as mentally ill -> are short of family relationships & that contact with siblings/close family are the main source of help in times of need.
BH = Correlation TH – unable to establish the direction of causation between poor social relationships & mentally ill health; e.g. good relationships = protection from negative effects of stress (suggest by BH), or that people who have mental illness find it more difficult to form close/supportive relationships?
 -> BUT! It could be a combination of both.

Not all research supports BH!
Hobfall + London (1986) = women living in the war between Lebanon & Israel, who had more intimacy with their friends & emotional support actually experiences MORE stress.  Research attributed = constant discussion of the situation resulting in a “pressure cooker”.

Level of Happiness: marriage & psychological well-being
Bradburn (1969)


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