Social Support has been shown to be one important factor in the link between stress and illness. In this study, the role of social support is examined in light of the two different categorizations of social support: quality and quantity. High quality and high quantity social support groups were hypothesized to be correlated with lower illness levels. In an attempt to explore the relative merits of the main effect and the buffering hypotheses, the relative role of social support to stress and illness was examined. There was a significant correlation between quality of social support and illness levels. Quantity of social support played a minor role in predicting illness levels. Finally, social support was significantly linked to mental health scores such that under low stress the level of support did not have an effect on health levels, but under high stress individuals who had high social support were healthier than individuals with low social support.
Stachour '98, Valerie M., "The Role of Social Support in Mediating Stress and Illness" (1998). Honors Projects. Paper 57.