The relationship of social support, emotional expression, and health status: a LISREL analysis of conceptual models

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Virginia Tech


The present study investigated the relationship between hostility, self concealment, social support, stress, and health. A path model was proposed, evaluated, and modified using the linear structural relations (LISREL) method of latent variable path analysis. Subjects were 402 undergraduate psychology students at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All subjects completed self-report measures initially and 293 subjects completed mailed follow-up measures of health status one semester later. Health care utilization data was obtained from the Student Health Services. Results indicated that social support had strong direct effects, but relatively weak indirect effects on health. Whereas, hostility and self-concealment were found to have indirect effects, but not direct effects, on health. Hostility affected health via effects on social support, stress, and self-concealment. Self-concealment affected health via its effect on stress, and stress directly affected health. These findings suggest that emotional expression has an important influence on the relationship between social support, stress, and health.