Loneliness of people with physical disabilities
Ami Rokach, PhD, and Rachel Lechcier-Kimel, PhD (York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada), and Artem Safarov, BSc (The Institute for the Study and Treatment of Psychosocial Stress, Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2006, 34(6), 681–700

I found this article very interesting as from my own experience, and that of friends and acquaintances who have suffered depression, social support has been a huge factor in the depression cycle. Lack of social support has intensified the depression and having social support has helped to overcome the depression. This established relationship is supported again in this study. Going beyond this fundamental connection, the authors also suggested and tested for a mediating relationship with an endogenous, internal variable: self-evaluation. They posited:

“It seems reasonable that lack of social support could be a significant cause of depression because having assistance available from other people should make individuals think well of themselves and make them happier (De Jong, Sportel, De Hullu, & Nauta, 2012).”

The mediating effect of social support on the relationship between self-evaluation and depression was partially supported in this research. This highlighted to me the importance of both external factors and internal ones. Often social support is withdrawn when a person is depressed, as people seem not to want to be around those in a depressed state. On the other hand, someone who has a negative self-evaluation may not readily perceive  - and benefit from - social support, even if it is offered. I believe research such as this article is vital in making people aware of the importance of giving social support in order to help those who are depressed. It also shows me that internal factors could help ameliorate depression, and actually help those with depression to see the social support they may have available.

Suzi Brown | IT Manager
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal