Predicting Depression and Self-esteem from SocialConnectedness, Support, and Competence

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Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology



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Social support, social competence, and social connectedness were hypothesized to predict self-reported levels of self-esteem and depression for male and female college students. Specifically, the more global characteristic of social connectedness was hypothesized to mediate the effects of social support in close relationships and general social competence on measures of depression and self-esteem. The mediator model was tested in a sample of 272 college students. Structural path analyses supported the model well for both males and females. Indirect paths to self-esteem and depression through the mediating variable of social connectedness were more strongly supported than direct pathways from social support or social competence to psychological outcomes. Based on findings from the original model, an alternative model was then developed to test the hypothesis that social connectedness and social competence capture a broader underlying construct, general social well-being. The results of the revised model support the conceptualization of social connectedness as distinct from relationship support, but raise questions regarding its uniqueness, relative to the construct of general social competence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)