Presentation Title

Buffering Effect of Social Interest on Stress and Psychological Well-being in Undergraduate Students

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented Friday March 31, 2017

Abstract

Past research has shown that social support can safeguard an individual against the adverse effects of stress and help to increase one's psychological well-being. However, social support is provided by external sources like family and friends; it is therefore out of a person's control how much support he or she receives. On the opposite spectrum of social support is social interest, which refers to a person's interest in the well-being of others and the degree to which the individual values the feeling of community. Specifically, social interest can be established or increased through meaningful relationships as well as through a genuine desire to contribute to one's community. Essentially, it is up to the individual to establish this interest through volunteer work, acts of kindness, or donations. In previous research, it has been shown that social support can buffer levels of stress and increase well-being. However, there is a paucity of research evaluating social interest as a protective agent/buffer on one's psychological well-being. Hence, the following study will investigate a possible buffering effect of social interest on stress and well-being in undergraduate students. If my hypotheses are supported we can provide students with several tools to improve psychological well-being and even reduce the impact of stressful events. Specifically, ways to increase social interest can be taught through workshops, media sources, and scientific journals.

Department

Psychology

Faculty Advisor

Reid Webster

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Buffering Effect of Social Interest on Stress and Psychological Well-being in Undergraduate Students

Past research has shown that social support can safeguard an individual against the adverse effects of stress and help to increase one's psychological well-being. However, social support is provided by external sources like family and friends; it is therefore out of a person's control how much support he or she receives. On the opposite spectrum of social support is social interest, which refers to a person's interest in the well-being of others and the degree to which the individual values the feeling of community. Specifically, social interest can be established or increased through meaningful relationships as well as through a genuine desire to contribute to one's community. Essentially, it is up to the individual to establish this interest through volunteer work, acts of kindness, or donations. In previous research, it has been shown that social support can buffer levels of stress and increase well-being. However, there is a paucity of research evaluating social interest as a protective agent/buffer on one's psychological well-being. Hence, the following study will investigate a possible buffering effect of social interest on stress and well-being in undergraduate students. If my hypotheses are supported we can provide students with several tools to improve psychological well-being and even reduce the impact of stressful events. Specifically, ways to increase social interest can be taught through workshops, media sources, and scientific journals.