The Relational Context of Social Support in Young Adults: Links with Stress and Well-Being

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10 Scopus citations


This study examined the roles of relationship-specific social support and gender in the associations between perceived stress and well-being. Three sources of support (family, friends, and romantic partners) and three well-being indicators (loneliness, depressive symptoms, and physical health) were assessed in 628 young adults attending college (Mage = 19.72; range of 18–24). Stress directly predicted all well-being indicators, and indirectly predicted well-being through social support in relationship-specific ways. Family support mediated the relationship between stress and physical health, friend support mediated the association between stress and loneliness, and romantic partner support mediated the relationships of stress with both loneliness and depressive symptoms. With regard to loneliness and physical health, women were more strongly impacted when they had less support from friends.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-36
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Adult Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


  • Gender
  • Social support
  • Stress
  • Well-being
  • Youth


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