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The significance of social closeness : a study on social support, strength use, and subjective well-being in young adults

Altman, Adin (2021) The significance of social closeness : a study on social support, strength use, and subjective well-being in young adults.

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Abstract:Positive psychology focuses on the strengths that enables individuals and communities to thrive. Earlier research has shown that strengths, and their use, are significantly associated with well-being and vitality. If people have the impression that their social network is a resource of support, this will have a positive effect on their subjective well-being. Though there is little research about the influence of strength use on the relation between perceived social support and subjective well-being specifically. Based on this background this study examined if an individual’s strength use explains how perceived social support influences one’s satisfaction with life and being happy. This cross-sectional study examines the relations between perceived social support and subjective well-being (consisting of the facets: life satisfaction, positive affect and negative affect) in the context of strength use. This research is a secondary analysis of existing datasets. The participants consisted of 156 young adults between the age of 18 and 30 who completed a set of self-report instruments about well-being and social support. Mediation analysis of the data revealed significant positive relations between perceived social support, strength use, life satisfaction and positive affect. Additionally, it showed that strength use mediates the relation between perceived social support and life satisfaction and positive affect. This suggests that when people perceive more social support, they will make more use of their strength, which positively influences life satisfaction and positive affect. Although the mediation effect was small, which suggest that there could be other more significant mediators in the relation between perceived social support and subjective well-being. This study showed that the amount an individual perceives social support and strength use are significant factors in maintaining well-being and that these variables are correlated. During times like these where social distancing is one of the preventive measures against COVID-19 this study shows the importance of assessing and maintaining social contact. In the future similar studies could be conducted with different populations, also more longitudinal studies on this subject should be realized to give more insight in the relationship between social support and well-being, this to investigate causality. This study supports previous findings that limiting social resources can negatively affect well-being and the significance of getting more insight in how an individual can find strength in their social network. Concluded, perceived social support during COVID social distancing times increases life satisfaction and positive affect in young adults, via an improved use of their existing strengths.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/86327
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