Understanding the Connection between Social Support and Mental Health

Robyn Lewis Brown, Gabriele Ciciurkaite

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The social bonds we forge are seen as crucial to healthy human development. We first learn to relate to others at home, as young children. But the ways in which we learn to attach and relate to others from our family have life-long consequences. In this chapter, Brown and Ciciurkaite discuss their understanding of social bonds as a key aspect of human development and provide an overview of the different ways that sociologists define social relationships. They then further discuss the importance of social support for mental health and consider several ways in which this relationship is influenced by social statuses such as socioeconomic status, marital status, and gender. The reader is encouraged to consider these questions: Can you differentiate the perceived from the structural aspects of your relationships with friends? Why do you suppose that the perception of social support matters more than “actual” support received in predicting psychological well-being? And can you give an example of a main effect of social support you have experienced, as well as a buffering effect?.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Handbook for the Study of Mental Health
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Contexts, Theories, and Systems
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781316471289
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Teresa L. Scheid and Eric R. Wright 2017.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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