Perceived stress, internal resources, and social support as determinants of mental health among young adults Article DOI:
Cite this article as: Bovier, P.A., Chamot, E. & Perneger, T.V. Qual Life Res (2004) 13: 161. doi:10.1023/B:QURE.0000015288.43768.e4 Abstract Background: Mental health is a central determinant of quality of life. While psychiatric morbidity of populations has been studied extensively, the role of perceived stress, social support, and internal resources as determinant of health is still poorly understood. Methods: We surveyed 2000 randomly selected university students. Perceived stress was measured by the Brief Encounter Psychosocial Instrument, social support by the Duke-UNC Functional Social Support Questionnaire, internal resources (mastery and self-esteem) by a brief version of the Pearlin coping questionnaire. Linear regression models were used to explore the relationships between these variables and mental health, based on the SF-12 health survey. Results: After two reminders, 1257 students answered the questionnaire. In bivariate analysis, mental health was negatively associated with stress and positively associated with internal resources and social support (all p-values < 0.001). In multiple regression analysis, internal resources were positively associated with mental health, and buffered the negative impact of stress on mental health. Internal resources and stress mediated the positive impact of social support on mental health. Conclusions: Our data confirm that perceived stress is an important risk factor for low mental health and suggest that mastery and self-esteem are important protective factors of mental health among young adults. Mastery Mental health Self-esteem Social support Stress Young adults References
Heiligenstein E, Guenther G, Hsu K, Herman K. Depression and academic impairment in college students. J Am Coll Health 1996; 45(2): 59-64.
Thorne S. On-campus physicians witnessing changes in medical problems faced by university students. Can Med Assoc J 1996; 154(1): 77-79.
Ustun TB. The global burden of mental disorders. Am J Public Health 1999; 89(9): 1315-1318.
World Health Organisation. The World Health Report 1999: Making a difference. WHO, 1999.
Neugebauer R. Mind matters: The importance of mental disorders in public health's 21st century mission. Am J Public Health 1999; 89(9): 1309-1311.
Medalie JH. Stress, social support, coping and adjustment. J Family Pract 1985; 20(6): 533-535.
Schwarzer R, Leppin A. Social support and health: A theoretical and empirical overview. J Social Personal Relat 1991; 8: 99-127.
Rice PL. Stress and Health. Pacific Grove, California: Brooks & Cole, 1999.
McKay DA, Blake RL, Jr, Colwill JM, et al. Social supports and stress as predictors of illness. J Family Pract 1985; 20(6): 575-581.
Turner RJ. Social support as a contingency in psychological well-being. J Health Soc Behav 1981; 22(December): 357-367.
Williams AW, Ware JE, Donald C. A model of mental health, life events, and social supports applicable to general populations. J Health Soc Behav 1981; 22(December): 324-336.
Broadhead WE, Kaplan BH, James SA, et al. The epidemiologic evidence for a relationship between social support and health. Am J Epidemiol 1983; 117(5): 521-537.
Ensel WM, Lin N. The life stress paradigm and psychological distress. J Health Soc Behav 1991; 32(4): 321-341.
Aneshensel CS, Stone JD. Stress and depression: A test of the buffering model of social support. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1982; 39(12): 1392-1396.
Revenson TA, Wollman CA, Felton BJ. Social supports as stress buffers for adult cancer patients. Psychosom Med 1983; 45(4): 321-331.
Dalgard OS, Bjork S, Tambs K. Social support, negative life events and mental health. Br J Psychiatry 1995; 166(1): 29-34.
Hobfoll SE, Banerjee P, Britton P. Stress resistance resources and health: A conceptual analysis. Int Rev Health Psychol 1994; 3: 37-63.
Bovier P. Etude sur les besoins de santé des étudiants à l'Université de Genève. Department of community medicine, Geneva University Hospitals, 1998.
Ware J, Kosinski M, Keller SD. A 12-item Short-Form Health Survey: Construction of scales and preliminary tests of reliability and validity. Med Care 1996; 34(3): 220-233.
Gandek B, Ware J, Aaronson NK, et al. Cross-validation of item selection and scoring for the SF-12 Health Survey in nine countries: Results from the IQOLA Project. International Quality of Life Assessment. J Clin Epidemiol 1998; 51(11): 1171-1178.
Frank SH, Zyzanski SJ. Stress in the clinical setting: The Brief Encounter Psychosocial Instrument. J Family Pract 1988; 26(5): 533-539.
Frank SH, Zyzanski SJ, Alemagno S. Upper respiratory infection: Stress, support, and the medical encounter. Family Med 1992; 24(7): 518-523.
Pearlin LI, Schooler C. The structure of coping. J Health Soc Behav 1978; 19(1): 2-21.
Broadhead WE, Gehlbach SH, de Gruy FV, Kaplan BH. The Duke-UNC functional social support questionnaire: Measurement of social support in family medicine patients. Med Care 1988; 27(7): 709-723.
Bovier PA, Chamot E, Eytan A, Perneger TV. Patterns of use of ambulatory mental health services in a universal care setting. Psychiatr Serv 2001; 52(11): 1515-1520.
Bovier P, Chamot E, Perneger TV. Measurement of functional social support and psychological resources: Brief scales for French-speaking adults. Soz Praeventivmed 2002; 47(5): 298-306.
Kleinbaum D, Kupper L, Muller K. Confounding and interaction in regression. Applied Regression Analysis and other Multivariate Methods. Belmont, California: Duxbury Press, 1988: 163-180.
Rothman K, Greenland S. Modern Epidemiology. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott-Raven Publishers, 1998.
Cohen S, Wills TA. Stress, social support, and the buffering hypothesis. Psychol Bull 1985; 98(2): 310-357.
Maldonado G, Greenland S. Simulation study of confounder-selection strategies. Am J Epidemiol 1993; 138(11): 923-936.
Cleveland WS. Robust locally weighted regression and smoothing scatterplots. J Am Stat Assoc 1979; 74: 829-836.
Rosengren A, Orth-Gomer K, Wedel H, Wilhelmsen L. Stressful life events, social support, and mortality in men born in 1933. Br Med J 1993; 307(6912): 1102-1105.
Bandura A. Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychol Rev 1989; 44: 191-215.
Google Scholar Copyright information
© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004