researches were carried out on social support in relation to different
variables and perceived stress in relation to different variables and also both
social support and perceived stress in relation to other variables.
research on social support and health claims that social support can either
generally prevent negative health consequences or can serve as a buffer in
specific stress situations. (Schwarzer, &
In the 1970s, following the publication
of influential papers by authors such as Caplan (1974), Cassel (1976), and Cobb
(1976), investigators began to study social support (Norbeck, 1988). One
oft-cited early study highlighted the potential importance of social support in
pregnancy by considering social support as an element of “psychosocial assets”
and showing that pregnant women with a combination of high life stress and few
psychosocial assets experienced more pregnancy complications than did women
with low life stress and a higher level of psychosocial assets (Nuckolls,
Cassel, & Kaplan, 1972). Since then, a number of studies have attempted to
clarify the role of social support in pregnancy outcomes. Psychosocial
factors such as stress or social support have been shown to significantly
influence pregnancy outcomes, independent of biomedical factors or variables (Dunkel-Schetter,
C., et.al., 1996).
A study on college students examined the relationship between
self-esteem, family support, peer support and program utilization and academic
and social adjustment and college commitment indicated that students who
reported higher levels of self-esteem and more peer support had better academic
and social support, students who utilized student support services and
counselling reported higher social adjustment and those students who were more
adjusted to campus life were more likely to be committed to their university
and their goals. (Grant-Vallone, E., e. al., 2003).
sample of 99 women was studied prospectively from the second trimester of
pregnancy until nine weeks postpartum. Depressed and non-depressed women
identified at (1) the second-trimester assessment and (2) the postpartum
assessments were compared on measures of stressful life events and social
support provided by their spouses and close confidants. Nine percent of women
during pregnancy and 12% of women after delivery were depressed. Women
experiencing postpartum depression reported more stressful life events and less
support from their spouses after delivery than the women not experiencing
postpartum depression. Women experiencing depression during pregnancy reported
somewhat less support from their spouses and more support from their confidants
than non-depressed women. The results of the study suggest that different
causes may be responsible for prepartum and postpartum depression. (O’Hara, 1986).
A study on the role of motivation, parental-support,
peer-support and environmental social support in academic success of ethnic
minority 1st-generation college students found that the personal
(or) career related motivation to attend college during fall was a positive
predictor and the negative predictor of college adjustment in the following
spring was the lack of peer support. (Dennis, J. M., Phinney, J. S., &
Chuateco, L. I., 2005).
A study examined the relationship between the usage of
Facebook (popular social network site) and the formation and the maintenance of
social capital in college students and found that use of Facebook has a strong
association with the bridging social support and also that usage of Facebook
was beneficial for users experiencing low self-esteem and low life
satisfaction. (Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C., 2007).
A study on college students’ wellbeing, influencing their
role of generational status, self-esteem, academic self-efficacy and perceived
social support found that the 1st-generation students reported with more
somatic symptoms and lower levels of academic self-efficacy in comparison to
the non-1st- generation students and also the students’ generational
status had moderate predictive effects of perceived family support on stress. (Wang,
C. C. D., & Castañeda?Sound, C., 2008).
A comparative study of American and Korean students’ cultural
difference in motivations for using social networking-sites found that the Korean
college students emphasised more on obtaining social support whereas the
American college students emphasised on seeking entertainment and also the
American students’ networks are far larger than their Korean counterparts in an
online social venue reflecting the cultural differences between the two
countries. (Kim, Y., Sohn, D., & Choi, S. M., 2011).
A Study on Early Adolescence to examine the relation of stressful
life events and social supports
to psychological distress and school performance both stress and support
variables making significant contributions to the prediction of subsequent
psychological distress. Stresses, but not supports, made a significant
contribution to the prediction of subsequent school performance. Evidence for
reciprocal and interactive linkages was also found, including effects of
psychological distress and school performance on subsequent stresses and
supports, and greater adaptive impact of school-based supportive resources
under conditions of heightened risk outside of school. Implications for
ecological and transactional models of development relating to the targeting
and efficacy of preventive efforts are discussed. (DuBois, D. L., et.al.,
Previous studies on the effects of burnout and perceived
stress on cortisol levels revealed that cortisol levels show a significant
increase after awakening, with high intra individual stability. Perceived
stress correlated with increases of cortisol levels. (Pruessner, J. C., et.al., 1999).
A study on English-fluency, social support satisfaction and
social connectedness as predictors of acculturative stress on international
students indicated that the students from Europe experienced less acculturative
stress in comparison to the students of Asia, Central/Latin America and Africa (Yeh, C. J., & Inose, M., 2003).
A study on African American young adults examined the
direct and indirect relationships among racial identity, racial discrimination,
perceived stress, and psychological distress in a sample of 555 African
American young adults. A prospective study design was used to assess the
influence of two dimensions of racial identity attitudes (i.e., centrality and
public regard) on other study variables to investigate the relationship between
racial identity attitudes and psychological distress. The results showed some
evidence of a direct relationship between racial centrality and psychological
distress, as well as evidence of indirect relationships for both centrality and
public regard through the impact of racial discrimination and perceived stress.
In addition, racial centrality was both a risk factor for experiencing
discrimination and a protective factor in buffering the negative impact of
discrimination on psychological distress. (Sellers,
R. M., 2003).
study on Swiss police officers examined how a specific shift system was
associated with stress, sleep and health among police officers. Moreover, this
study investigated whether gender moderated the association between shift work
and stress, sleep and health. Additional analyses were performed to find out
how stress and shift work interact in explaining sleep and health. Shift work
was associated with increased social stress, work discontent and sleep
complaints. In turn, shift workers reported decreased use of primary health
care. Moreover, stress was associated with increased sleep complaints and lower
scores in perceived health. The interplay between stress and shift work did not
produce any significant effects. (Gerber, M.,
Another study on the relation between heart rate variability,
trait anxiety and perceived stress in physically fit men and women states that,
was independent of age, gender, trait anxiety, and cardiorespiratory fitness.
It was also independent of heart rate; mean arterial blood pressure; and
respiration rate, factors which can influence heart rate variability and might
be elevated among people reporting anxiety and perceived stress. Also the vagal
modulation of heart period appears to be sensitive to the recent experience of
persistent emotional stress, regardless of a person’s level of physical fitness
and disposition toward experiencing anxiety. (Dishman,
R. K., 2000).
A study on adults with problematic levels of stress related
to chronic illness, chronic pain and other life circumstances showed that Mindfulness skills and perceived stress both changed
significantly from pre-treatment to post-treatment. Significant increases in
mindfulness occurred by the second week of the program, whereas significant
improvements in perceived stress did not occur until week 4. Extent of change
in mindfulness skills during the first three weeks predicted change in
perceived stress over the course of the intervention. (Baer, R. A., Carmody, J., & Hunsinger, M., 2012).
A study on college students’ academic stress and its relation
to their anxiety, time management and leisure satisfaction was carried out in
which time management behaviours had a great effect on academic stress than the
leisure satisfaction activities. Regarding the gender differences among the
students, girls experienced higher academic stress and anxiety but were good at
time management behaviours; boys were good at leisure satisfaction activities. (Misra, R., & McKean, M., 2000).
A study on the effect of evaluation of body/mind intervention
to reduce psychological distress and perceived stress in college students. The
results showed a fall in students’ psychological distress, state anxiety and
perceived stress levels. (Deckro, G. R., et. al., 2002).
Since this research study focuses on the receiving of social
support and the perception of stress among under-graduate students, it aims to
study how social support plays a role in the change of perception of stress in
them. It is a comparative study between under-graduate boys and girls.