Social Support as a Moderator for Depressive Symptoms and Well-being During the Transition to University

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Dunn, Leigh Catherine




Nearly 40% of Canadian university students are depressed (Othman et al.,2019). However, strong social support may mitigate adverse outcomes for students (Santini et al.,2015). This study examined: 1. If students who showed initial depression were more likely to experience poorer end-of-semester outcomes (i.e., continued depressive symptoms, burnout, and poor social and academic adjustment). 2. If social support was a moderator for initial depression and poorer end-of-semester well-being. 3. If seeing friends face-to-face is a stronger moderator than phone calls or text messages on end-of-semester well-being. Participants (N=461) were first-time first-year undergraduates who completed questionnaires in September and in December (N=368) of their first semester. Entering university with depressive symptoms was shown to be associated with end-of-semester depression burnout and decreased academic adjustment. Students with initially low depression and high social support had less depression in December. Question three was unsupported, well-being was unaffected by mode of communication and September depression.


Psychology - Developmental




Carleton University

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