Court of Sciences Student Center – from UCLA Newsroom

Social Support: A Connection with Others

Navigating the world around us is hard, especially since we’ve lived through a global pandemic for over a year. While we can get busy with school, work, among other commitments as college students, it is extremely important to take care of ourselves. One form of self-care comes in the form of social support received from your support network.

Scarderra’s JAMA Network Open article, “Association of social support during adolescence with depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation in young adults,” emphasizes that social support is a strong foundation that helps address mental health problems. The article posits that young adults above the age of nineteen who had a history of mental illness and who received social support had the following positive benefits:

  • Lower rates of depression
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Decreased suicidal ideation

Scarderra and colleagues analyzed data from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, a population-based study of participants born between 1997 and 1998 from the age of five months to twenty years. At ages 19 and 20, 121 out of the 1174 individuals had experienced suicidal thoughts. Perceived support was significantly lower among men compared to women. Lower perceived social support was related to more symptoms of depression and anxiety, and that lower perceived social support was related to higher suicidal ideation. In regression models, individuals who reported a higher level of social support at age nineteen years had fewer mental health problems and reported less suicidal ideation.

In sum, social support is an important component of our lives, especially during young adulthood where there are multiple transition phases happening.

Big Takeaway

Social support keeps you connected to others. There are various examples of support that can keep you and many others uplifted during these chaotic times. If you are struggling to keep yourself connected, feel free to check out the resources listed — we are here for you, Bruins!  #BruinsTogether

For additional resources on the topic of relationships, here are a few:

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