Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Marshall, J. (2017) Just here for moral support: A path analysis of depression and social support networks. Poster presentation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Research Fair, April 4-5, 2017.


Copyright (c) 2017 Jordan E. Marshall


Social support has been shown to be associated with lower depression scores in a variety of populations. Using a series of questionnaires, Leahy-Warren, McCarthy, and Corcoran (2011) found significant negative relationships between functional social support and postnatal depression as well as between informal social support and postnatal depression. Grav et. al, (2011) conducted a similar study on the general population, and found that perceived support was significantly correlated to depression. Research suggests that there are gender differences in the relationship between social support and depression. Utilizing data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam, Sonnenberg et. al, (2013) found a lack of partner in the household and a small network predicted depression in males but not in females. There is evidence that certain types of social support changes throughout adulthood. A meta-analysis conducted by Wrzus et. al, (2013) revealed that friendship networks decrease throughout adulthood, but that family networks remained consistent. Anxiety has been shown to be negatively correlated to certain types of social support. Using data from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys, Priest, (2012) found that, for both single and married participants, relative and friend relationship quality was associated with several different anxiety disorders. The current study aims to empirically understand depression, anxiety and social support using a path analysis. A full and trimmed path model able to predict Depression was constructed using Gender, Age, Marital Status, Trait Anxiety, Friend Social Support, Significant Other Social Support, Family Social Support, State Anxiety, Loneliness, and Stress as predictors.