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Social network investment of men: Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations with mental health problems
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-14, 02:46 authored by K Mansour, CJ Greenwood, Lauren FrancisLauren Francis, I Smith, Craig OlssonCraig Olsson, Jacqui MacdonaldJacqui Macdonald
Internationally, there is growing attention on links between social isolation and mental health problems. Here, we use unique Australian longitudinal data to investigate associations between adult men's (n = 507; age M = 29.90, SD = 1.31) social network investments and their concurrent and subsequent mental health problems. In linear regressions, using generalised estimating equations (GEEs), we examined associations between social network investment (time with friends, network size and various activities with friends) and mental health symptoms (depression, anxiety and stress) across five timepoints. Models were adjusted for waves of outcome and potential confounders. Cross-sectionally, each social network investment variable, except for drinking with friends, was negatively associated with depressive symptoms. Men's extended friendship network size and sharing a meal with friends were negatively associated with concurrent anxiety and stress. Time spent and physical activity with friends was also negatively associated with concurrent stress. In longitudinal analyses, after adjusting for prior depressive symptoms, only the number of friends in close and extended networks remained protective against depressive symptoms 1 year later. Results did not differ by fatherhood or relationship status. Programs designed to strengthen men's investment in social networks are recommended to reduce men's depressive symptoms.
longitudinalmenmental healthpeerssocial connection52 Psychology5203 Clinical and Health Psychology5201 Applied and Developmental PsychologyBasic Behavioral and Social ScienceBehavioral and Social ScienceMental HealthMind and BodyDepression2 Aetiology2.3 Psychological, social and economic factorsMental health3 Good Health and Well Being5201 Applied and developmental psychology5203 Clinical and health psychologyPsychology not elsewhere classified