High-quality social contacts may prevent depression
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High-quality social contacts
Social contacts are key to happiness. Increasing social connection, which has been challenging during the coronavirus pandemic, helps reduce loneliness and despair, according to a study.
People worried that COVID-19’s social distancing and isolation techniques could harm social lives and mental health. Longer quarantines increase loneliness and sadness, according to research.
Previous research has shown how vital social interaction and connections are for happiness and wellbeing.
Adam Kuczynski and his colleagues wanted to uncover daily social contacts linked to depression and loneliness.
They recruited adults in King County, Washington, utilizing social media, grocery store flyers, and local news articles.
They surveyed 515 adults. Text messages at 7:30 pm invited participants to complete daily questionnaires for 75 days. Their sample was also tested for sadness, loneliness, social interaction, responsiveness, and sensitive self-disclosure.
People that have more social connections, and self-disclosures, and feel more sensitive have lower sadness and loneliness levels. Regardless of a person’s baseline, social interaction can be protective.
Increased vulnerable self-disclosure was connected to despair and loneliness when individuals felt more responsive.
A recent study disagrees. Quality and quantity of social engagement similarly affected loneliness and depressive mood, indicating a robust link.
Despite the longitudinal approach and daily data collection, this study has drawbacks. It’s unclear if these results would change if participants were sampled more often.
This study cannot rule out the possibility of reverse causalities, such as depression changing social interaction frequency. Because this data was taken at the start of the COVID-19 epidemic, it may not apply to ordinary life.
“Concerns about the likely impacts of social separation during the COVID-19 epidemic highlighted numerous gaps in our knowledge,” the researchers said.
“The current study aims to define the unique influence of social interaction quantity and quality on daily low mood and loneliness”
Social connections and perceived responsiveness may protect against depression and loneliness regardless of characteristic levels. Future studies should discover characteristics that predict this heterogeneity.”