The Relative Impact of Positive and Negative Social Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression
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The Relative Impact of Positive and Negative Social Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression. Jason T. Newsom Portland State University Portland, OR .

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The Relative Impact of Positive and Negative Social Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression

Jason T. Newsom

Portland State University

Portland, OR

Acknowledgements: Helpful comments were provided by Karen Rook and David Morgan. Masami Nishishiba provided valuable assistance with data anlaysis.


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Background Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression

  • Ongoing debate about whether negative or positive exchanges are more important predictors of mental health outcomes such as depression.

  • Test of this question is difficult without measures that are comparable in content and reliability.

  • Many prior studies focusing on this question have been based on small and unrepresentative samples.

  • The present study is based on a large, representative sample of adults over 65 and uses comparable measures of positive and negative exchanges measured across 4 domains.


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Background Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression

  • Impact of exchanges is most likely mediated through subjective reactions to those exchanges.

  • Social support researchers have argued that support perceptions are more important than actual received support (e.g., Kaplan, Cassel, & Gore, 1977; Krause, 1989).

  • Support researchers distinguish among embeddedness, enacted, perceived support, and satisfaction (e.g., Barrera, 1986; Sarason, Sarason, & Pierce, 1990).

  • Not all support attempts are viewed positively (Lehman, Ellard, Wortman, 1986; Newsom, 1998; Pagel, Erdly, & Becker, 1987).


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Outline Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression

  • Frequency of positive and negative exchanges

  • Relative strength of positive and negative exchanges predicting depression symptomatology, using 4 parallel domains of exchanges

  • Unique effects of specific domains of social exchanges

  • Subjective appraisals of 4 domains of positive exchanges (i.e., satisfaction) and negative exchanges (i.e., botheredness).


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Positive Social Exchange Measure Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression

  • 12-item measure, 4 domains, 3 items each

  • Frequency in the past month (5-point scale ranging from 0 “never” to 4 “very often”)

    • Informational (e.g., “… offer helpful advice when you need to make important decisions?”)

    • Instrumental (e.g., “…do favors and other things for you?”)

    • Emotional (e.g., “… do or say things that were kind or considerate toward you?”)

    • Companionship (e.g., “…provide you with good company and companionship?”)


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Negative Social Exchange Measure Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression

  • 12-item measure, 4 domains, 3 items each

  • Frequency of occurrence in the past month (5-point scale ranging from 0 “never” to 4 “very often”)

    • Informational (e.g., “… give you unwanted advice?”)

    • Instrumental (e.g., “…let you down when you needed help?”)

    • Emotional (e.g., “… act unsympathetic or critical about your personal concerns?”)

    • Companionship (e.g., “…forget or ignore you?”)


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Depression Measure Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression

  • Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CES-D; Radloff, 1977)

  • Brief 9-item version developed by Santor and Coyne (1997)

  • 3 domains (following McCallum, MacKinnon, Simons, & Simons, 1995) :

    • Positive affect (e.g., “You were happy”), 2 items

    • Negative Affect (e.g., “You felt sad”), 4 items

    • Somatic Symptoms (e.g., “Your sleep was restless”), 3 items

  • 4-point response scale ranging from 0 “None of the time” to 4 “Most of the time”


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Subjective Appraisal of Positive Exchanges Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression

  • Satisfied with Positive Exchanges

    • Degree of satisfaction with each of the four positive exchange domains in the past month

    • “In general, how satisfied are you with the advice and information that you receive?”

    • 4-point response scale ranging from 0 “Not at all satisfied” to 3 “Very satisfied”

    • Only those reporting some occurrence of each domain of positive exchange included


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Subjective Appraisal of Negative Exchanges Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression

  • Bothered by Negative Exchanges

    • Degree to which the respondent was bothered by each of the four negative exchange domains in the past month

    • “In general, how bothered are you when you receive unwanted advice or opinions?”

    • 4-point response scale ranging from 0 “Not at all bothered” to 3 “Very bothered”

    • Those reporting no occurrence in the past month were coded as 0 (“Not at all bothered”)


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Analyses Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression

  • Structural equation models using Mplus, version 2.02 (Muthen & Muthen, 1998).

  • Because of concerns about multivariate nonnormality, ML with Satorra-Bentler correction for chi-square and standard errors (Satorra & Bentler, 1994)

  • Fit statistics:

    • Chi-square (affected by model complexity and sample size)

    • Bollen’s Incremental Fit Index (IFI; Bollen, 1989), .95 and above indicates excellent fit (Hu & Bentler, 1999)

    • Standardized Root Mean Square Residual (SRMR; Bentler, 1995), .06 and below indicates excellent fit (Hu & Bentler, 1999)

    • Fit indices computed using Satorra-Bentler adjusted chi-square for the null model


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Analyses Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression

  • Measurement models:

    • Second-order confirmatory factor models of positive exchanges, negative exchanges, depression.

    • First-order confirmatory factor model of satisfaction and botheredness

    • Correlated measurement errors between positive and negative exchanges for parallel domains

    • Correlated disturbances between positive and negative exchanges for parallel domains


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Analyses Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression

  • Structural models:

    • Relative impact of positive and negative exchanges overall

    • Relative impact of specific domains

    • Relative impact of subjective appraisals

    • All models controlled for:

      • Age, Education, Self-reported Health, IADL/ADLs, Health Conditions


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Frequency of Social Exchanges Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression


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Measurement Model for Positive Exchanges Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression

Positive Exchanges

.663

.608

.654

.863

Informational

Instrumental

Emotional

Companionship

.865

.880

.882

.812

.842

.919

.842

.907

.851

.897

.631

.907

Ways to

deal with

problems

Discuss

personal

matters

Provide

assistance

Helpful

advice

Useful

suggestions

Do

favors

Help

important

tasks

Kind and

considerate

Cheer

you up

Provide

company

Include

you

Do social

activities

Model Fit Statistics: N= , χ2(50)= 190.133, p<.001, SRMR=.044, IFI= .975.

All loadings significant at p < .001. Correlated errors and disturbances not shown.


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Measurement Model for Negative Exchanges Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression

Negative Exchanges

.708

.698

.760

.820

Informational

Instrumental

Emotional

Companionship

.870

.757

.791

.815

.657

.886

.803

.915

.802

.845

.879

.756

Interfere in

Personal

matters

Ask for

too much

help

Fail to

give

assistance

Do

thoughtless

things

Act angry

or upset

with you

Act

unsympathetic

or critical

Forget/

ignore

you

Fail to

spend

time

Unwanted

advice

Question

your decisions

Let you

down

Leave you

out

Model fit statistic: N= , χ2(50)= 71.696, p=.0238, SRMR=.031, IFI= .991.

All loadings significant at p < .001. Correlated errors and disturbances not shown.


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Measurement Model for Depression Exchanges on Symptoms of Depression

Depression

(CES-D )

.795a

.882a

.810a

Somatic

Symptoms

Positive Affect

Negative Affect

Happy

Enjoy

Bothered

Blues

Depressed

Sad

Mind

Effort

Sleep

Model Fit Statistics: N= 868, χ2(26)= 68.690, p<.001, SRMR=.055, IFI= .976

a Second-order loadings were set equal for empirical identification.

All loadings significant at p < .001.


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Model Comparing the Effects of Positive and Negative Exchanges on Depression

Positive

Exchanges

Depression

(CESD)

Negative

Exchange

Age, Education, Self-reported Health,

IADL/ADLs, Health Conditions


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Relative impact of positive and negative exchanges on depression, structural model results


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The relative effect of individual domains of positive and negative exchanges on depression, structural model results


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Measurement Model of Subjective Appraisal of Positive and Negative Exchanges on Depression

-.460

Satisfaction

with Positive Exchanges

Bothered

by Negative Exchanges

.483

.660

.546

.549

.661

.662

.661

.761

Informational

Instrumental

Emotional

Companionship

Informational

Instrumental

Emotional

Companionship

Model Fit Statistics: N= 624, χ2(19)= 30.387, p<.047, SRMR=.029, IFI= .983

All loadings significant at p < .001.


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Structural Model Comparing the Effects of the Subjective Appraisal of Positive and Negative Exchanges on Depression

Satisfaction

Depression

(CESD)

Bothered

Age, Education, Self-reported Health,

IADL/ADLs, Health Conditions


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The effect of subject appraisal of positive and negative exchanges on depression, structural model results


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Summary and Conclusions exchanges on depression, structural model results

  • Between 79-92% report one or more positive exchanges.

  • Positive exchanges in the emotional and companionship domains were the most common.

  • Fewer (26-43%) reported one or more negative exchanges.

  • Negative exchanges in the informational domain (e.g., unwanted advice) were the most common.

  • Negative exchanges have far greater impact on depressive symptoms than positive exchanges when comparable measures are used, after controlling for age, gender, education, and health variables.


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Summary and Conclusions exchanges on depression, structural model results

  • When subjective appraisals of exchanges are examined, the impact of positive and negative exchanges is approximately equal.

  • Positive exchanges may be expected, leading to a lesser impact unless supportive actions are particularly appreciated.

  • Not all supportive attempts by network members will be viewed positively (e.g., Krause, 1995; Lehman, Ellard, & Wortman, 1986), whereas negative exchanges will rarely be interpreted positively.


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Future Research exchanges on depression, structural model results

  • Investigate sources of positive and negative exchanges and number of network members associated with positive and negative exchanges.

  • Estimate the frequency with which supportive attempts are not positively appraised.

  • Interaction of frequency and negative appraisals.


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Future Research exchanges on depression, structural model results

  • Examine the extent to which satisfaction is affected by presence of negative interactions and, conversely, the extent to which botheredness is affected by the presence of positive exchanges (Krause, 1995).

  • What factors determine subjective appraisals of positive support? When are supportive attempts viewed negatively (Smith & Goodnow, 1999)? To what extent are appraisals determined by recipient characteristics (e.g., self-esteem) vs. provider characteristics (e.g., social skills), contextual factors (e.g., history of conflict, reciprocity), or situational factors? Are some people more reactive to negative exchanges?