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Age Moderates the Relationship between Social Support and Psychosocial Problems
Unformatted Document Text:  Age Moderates 2 Abstract Social support is commonly assumed to protect people from the experience of psychological distress and to enhance well-being. However, past research shows that the effectiveness of social support from family members and friends varies over the life span. Both the theory of evolutionary psychology and socioemotional selectivity theory provide compelling accounts for why this may be the case. In accord with each theory, age was predicted to moderate the association between social support and the experience of depressive symptoms and loneliness. This moderational model was tested in a community- based sample of 325 adults ranging in age from 19 to 85 years. Results indicated that social support from family members and sheer contact with them, as well as social support from a spouse/partner, was most strongly and negatively related to the psychosocial problems in the younger participants. Age also moderated the association between relationship standards and loneliness. Consistent with the assumptions of socioemotional selectivity theory, older people do not appear to be as dependent as younger people are on receiving social support from diverse sources in order to maintain a sense of well-being.

Authors: Segrin, Chris.
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Age Moderates
2
Abstract
Social support is commonly assumed to protect people from the experience of
psychological distress and to enhance well-being. However, past research shows that the
effectiveness of social support from family members and friends varies over the life span.
Both the theory of evolutionary psychology and socioemotional selectivity theory provide
compelling accounts for why this may be the case. In accord with each theory, age was
predicted to moderate the association between social support and the experience of
depressive symptoms and loneliness. This moderational model was tested in a community-
based sample of 325 adults ranging in age from 19 to 85 years. Results indicated that social
support from family members and sheer contact with them, as well as social support from a
spouse/partner, was most strongly and negatively related to the psychosocial problems in
the younger participants. Age also moderated the association between relationship
standards and loneliness. Consistent with the assumptions of socioemotional selectivity
theory, older people do not appear to be as dependent as younger people are on receiving
social support from diverse sources in order to maintain a sense of well-being.


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