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The longitudinal effects of social support and hostility on depressive tendencies


  • Heponiemi, Tarja
  • Elovainio, Marko
  • Kivimäki, Mika
  • Pulkki, Laura
  • Puttonen, Sampsa
  • Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa


This 14-year longitudinal study examined the independent association between perceived social support and the 5-year progression of depressive tendencies while taking into account the potential effects of childhood/adolescent anger and later hostility. From the on-going population based study of "Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns", 553 male and 860 female participants responded to a revised version of Beck's Depression Inventory in 1992 and 1997. Hostility and perceived social support were assessed by self-rated questionnaires in 1992. Childhood/adolescent anger was assessed by parent-reports in 1983. Our results showed that higher levels of perceived social support were associated with the decrease of depressive tendencies after 5 years and lower levels of depressive tendencies prospectively and after 5 years. This association persisted after adjusting for childhood/adolescent anger and later hostility. In addition, hostility was strongly related to the 5-year increase of depressive tendencies and higher levels of depressive tendencies. Social support may therefore be a long-term protective factor from depression irrespective of personality characteristics, such as hostility and anger.

Suggested Citation

  • Heponiemi, Tarja & Elovainio, Marko & Kivimäki, Mika & Pulkki, Laura & Puttonen, Sampsa & Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa, 2006. "The longitudinal effects of social support and hostility on depressive tendencies," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(5), pages 1374-1382, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:63:y:2006:i:5:p:1374-1382

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mccoll, Mary Ann & Lei, Hau & Skinner, Harvey, 1995. "Structural relationships between social support and coping," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 395-407, August.
    2. Schroevers, Maya J. & Ranchor, Adelita V. & Sanderman, Robbert, 2003. "The role of social support and self-esteem in the presence and course of depressive symptoms: a comparison of cancer patients and individuals from the general population," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 375-385, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Airaksinen, Jaakko & Hakulinen, Christian & Elovainio, Marko & Lehtimäki, Terho & Raitakari, Olli T. & Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa & Jokela, Markus, 2015. "Neighborhood effects in depressive symptoms, social support, and mistrust: Longitudinal analysis with repeated measurements," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 136, pages 10-16.


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