The Association of Chronic Social Stress with Psychological Distress in Thailand
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This study investigated chronic social stress emanating from troublesome interpersonal relationships, and its association with psychological distress (e.g., depressive symptoms). Five-hundred and twenty-six women and men ages 25-29 and 40-44 from Maepum Sub-district, Phayao Province in North Thailand participated in this study, which used a quantitative survey methodology. Multiple linear regression models were used to study the relationship of psychological distress (depressive symptoms, anxiety, and loneliness) to the predictors (a) chronic social stress (social relationship issues), (b) worries about personal circumstances (other than social relationship issues), (c) social support, (d) self-efficacy, and (e) hardiness. The finding that negative as well as positive aspects of social relationships were related significantly to psychological distress is consistent with highly similar studies in Norway and Romania. The findings suggest that the stress-distress model which was used in this study, adapted from a model used in Western studies, has good utility in the Thai context.
This report is based on thesis research completed by the author in 2004, under the direction of Professor Maurice B. Mittelmark, in the Research Centre for Health Promotion research programme ‘The Social Environment’s Influence on Health and Well-being.’