Generalized anxiety disorder and psychological distress in a Canadian adult sample: exploring the role of social support

Collins, Rebecca C. (2021) Generalized anxiety disorder and psychological distress in a Canadian adult sample: exploring the role of social support. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In the literature, there have been limited studies examining the relationship between social support and psychological distress in individuals with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Utilizing a sample of 1956, 25 to 64 year-old respondents from the Canadian Community Health Survey – Mental Health (CCHS-MH, 2012) who self-reported GAD diagnosed by a health care provider, the present study examined levels of social support (as measured by the Social Provisions Scale (SPS)), and psychological distress (as indicated by the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10)), and explored the degree to which SPS subtypes predicted psychological distress in those with GAD overall, and men and women separately. When compared with the general CCHS-MH sample, adults with GAD had significantly higher levels of psychological distress, and lower SPS levels overall, as well as for each subtype (i.e., guidance, reliable alliance, reassurance of worth, attachment, and social integration). Interestingly, comparisons between men and women with GAD revealed that while there was no difference in psychological distress, men scored significantly lower in overall SPS scores, as well as for each subtype. When SPS subtypes were regressed onto psychological distress, social integration and income were both inversely associated for both men and women reporting GAD. Reassurance of worth predicted lower distress and reliable alliance predicted higher for men, while guidance predicted lower distress for women. Future directions and implications of the current findings are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15251
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 22-30).
Keywords: generalized anxiety disorder, psychological distress, social support, gender differences
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: August 2021
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Anxiety disorders--Canada; Distress (Psychology)--Canada; Social networks--Canada; Sex differences--Canada.

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