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ERIC Number: EJ1007438
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jun
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
ISSN: ISSN-0022-006X
Dimensions of Functional Social Support and Depressive Symptoms: A Longitudinal Investigation of Women Seeking Help for Intimate Partner Violence
Suvak, Michael K.; Taft, Casey T.; Goodman, Lisa A.; Dutton, Mary Ann
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, v81 n3 p455-466 Jun 2013
Objective: We examined 4 separate dimensions of functional social support (tangible, appraisal, self-esteem, and belonging) as predictors of change in depression over 4.5 years in a sample of women reporting intimate partner violence. Method: Participants were recruited as they sought help for violence perpetrated by a current or former male partner. Three hundred eighty-eight participants completed the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List (Cohen, Mermelstein, Kamarck, & Hoberman, 1985), the Conflict Tactics Scale-2 (Straus, Hamby, Boney-McCoy, & Sugarman, 1996), and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D; Radloff, 1977) at the baseline assessment. Participants were reevaluated on 9 follow-up assessment occasions over approximately 4.5 years, during which they completed the CES-D. Results: Growth curve analyses revealed that belonging, or the perceived availability of people one can do things with, was the only dimension that predicted changes in depressive symptoms when controlling for initial depressive symptom levels. Higher levels of belonging support reported at the baseline assessment were associated with larger decreases in depression. Conclusions: The findings of the current study suggest that interventions should consider ways to get survivors connected to informal social networks. Neither perceived availability of material aid nor availability of someone to talk about one's problems or serve as a positive comparison when comparing oneself to others was associated with decreased depression over time. Only perceived availability of people one can do things with (i.e., belonging support) exhibited salutary effects. (Contains 3 tables, 3 figures and 5 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Conflict Tactics Scale; Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale