Confidant Isolation, Psychosocial Processes and Psychological Distress:

Jinwoo Lee, University of Texas at Austin

Previous research identifies that low levels of social relationships are associated with psychological distress. Despite the general understanding in the link between social isolation and health, we still lack knowledge on how social isolation gets under the skin, especially the role of self-concept in the association between isolation and distress. In this research, I examine (a) the effect of confidant isolation on distress and (b) psychosocial processes through which isolation affects distress. Analyses of nationally representative 16 year follow-up data, ‘Americans’ Changing Lives,’ show that (a) effects of confidant isolation on depression are significant even after controlling for social relationships and physical health and (b) the remaining effects are entirely explained by both mediating and moderating role of psychosocial resources (i.e., mastery and self-esteem). Future research that examines effect of social isolation on distress therefore should consider both objective social conditions (i.e., SES, Social ties) and subjective evaluations (i.e., self-concepts).

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Presented in Poster Session 7