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Health Benefits of Social Support

What are some of the ways that social support can have an effect on health conditions as well as examples of two populations that may be at risk for reduced social support. How can these populations bridge the gap between the need for and utilization of social support?

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Researchers use six criteria of social support to measure the level of social support available. These are (1):

1. Amount of affection provided by spouse or lover.

2. Amount of social assimilation that a person receives from a group of people or friends.

3. Positive reinforcements from others assuring worth in which to inspire and increase self-esteem.

4. Being able to depend on support from family members when needed.

5. Guidance and support given from a teacher or parent.

6. Nurturing opportunities by providing a cultivating experience for social enhancement such as having children of their own.

Social support or lack of social support can affect a person's health in very different ways. Lack of social support can cause the deterioration of both physical and mental health. If an adolescent does not get the social support they require, they may develop extremely sensitive feelings such as depression and anxiety. Both family support and peer support are vital for adolescents, and if adequate support is not given by family, adolescents will generally go to friends for support; however, this type of support is generally not as reliable and if support is not in a positive way, youth may withdraw from friends and family causing depression. Social support ...

Solution Summary

The expert discusses some of the health benefits of having social support.