Year of Publication

2013

Season of Publication

Summer

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)

Department

Psychology

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Lori Lange

Second Advisor

Dr. Brian Fisak

Department Chair

Dr. Michael Toglia

College Dean

Dr. Barbara A. Hetrick

Abstract

Social connectedness, feelings of belonging and closeness with the social world, has been identified as an important aspect for the physical, emotional, and collective well-being. People faced with chronic illness may feel like they no longer belong, and this lack of connectedness may have a negative impact on health, well-being, and psychological functioning. The present study investigated social connectedness and quality of life in 151 patients with ongoing symptoms of chronic illness. It was hypothesized that lower levels of social connectedness would be associated with poorer health-related quality of life and more depression. Participants (N =151, 85.4% women, Mage = 46.5) completed four online surveys that measured the level of their connectedness (Social Connectedness Scale) and their health related quality of life (Depression PHQ Scale and the SF-36 Scale). Overall, the hypotheses were supported with social connectedness being a significant predictor of depression and seven of the eight subscales on the health outcomes SF-36 measure. There was an increase in physical and social functioning, emotional well-being, and energy as the patients’ level of social connectedness increased. Meanwhile, decreased feelings of social connectedness were associated with greater pain and role limitations due to physical health and emotional problems. These findings suggest that feelings of interpersonal closeness and belonging can be an important factor in health outcomes and quality of life within a chronically ill population.

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Psychology Commons

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