Keywords

Social support, psychological mechanisms, physiology, review

Abstract

Contemporary models postulate the importance of psychological mechanisms linking perceived and received social support to physical health outcomes. In this review, we examine studies that directly tested the potential psychological mechanisms responsible for links between social support and health-relevant physiological processes (1980s to 2010). Inconsistent with existing theoretical models, no evidence was found that psychological mechanisms such as depression, perceived stress, and other affective processes are directly responsible for links between support and health. We discuss the importance of considering statistical/design issues, emerging conceptual perspectives, and limitations of our existing models for future research aimed at elucidating the psychological mechanisms responsible for links between social support and physical health outcomes.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2012

Publisher

Author's Manuscript

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Psychology

Included in

Psychology Commons

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