Exploring Facets of a Social Network to Explicate the Status of Social Support and Its Effects on Stress

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Abstract:

International Chinese five-year junior college students were examined with regard to the status of actual social support and perceived stress, the relationship between actual social support and perceived stress, and the status of a social network, in order to explain how actual social support operates. Sixty-four students from a population of 313 responded to the questionnaires which included the Actual Social Support Scale (Jou, 1994), the Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen, Kamarck, & Mermelstein, 1983), and the Measure of Social Support Network Scale (Blyth & Traeger, 1988). Results showed that students in Taiwan exhibit higher perceived stress and experience lower actual social support, higher actual social support may result in lower perceived stress, and the students' social network was limited to segregation with international Chinese college students in Taiwan. This suggests that more social contact with local people may help students to enlarge their social network, thus offering better social support for alleviating perceived stress.

Keywords: CHINESE; INTERNATIONAL; JUNIOR COLLEGE; SOCIAL NETWORK; SOCIAL SUPPORT; STRESS; STUDENTS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2009.37.5.701

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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