"Effects of social networks on health from a stress theoretical perspective"
, in Social Indicators Research, Vol. 118, Nummer 1, Seite(n) 349-364, 2014, ISSN: 0303-8300
Effects of social networks on health from a stress theoretical perspective
Sprache des Titels:
This paper focuses on the relevance of quantitative and qualitative aspects of social networks in a health context. The study combined a stress theoretical perspective with theories of social support and social capital in order to investigate the mechanisms behind the association of social network size and self-rated health. The main research question in the study is whether social integration affects health by changing stressor appraisal (perceived stressor intensity or anticipated stressor burden). The study used a survey of an Austrian student sample (n=246) to measure two models of hypothetical exposure to a potentially stressful event. The findings indicate that individuals with larger trust and support networks consider potential stressors to be less threatening, which leads to a reduced level of stress symptoms and a better subjective health condition. The influence of network size on stressor appraisal is fully mediated by the perceived social embeddedness that these ties induce.