The Effects Of Social Relationships On Mental Health

1485 WordsOct 30, 20166 Pages
1) Depending on their nature, social relationships can influence behavioral health, psychological health, physical health, and mortality in a myriad of ways (Umberson and Montez, 2010). In general, healthy and high-quality social relationships are those characterized by support and mutual respect; whereas unhealthy and low-quality social relationships are those deemed toxic through stress and disrespect. High-quality social relationships, wherein people experience camaraderie and happiness, yield substantial health benefits. For instance, social ties such as marriage and religious involvement have been linked to healthier choices with diet and exercise, possibly because these connections promote positive behavioral norms (Umberson and Montez, 2010). High-quality social relationships also promote mental health by offering individuals a sense of place within a meaningful environment. When people feel connected and supported, they tend to experience a greater sense of control, a psychological state shown to be both associated and causally linked to good health (Lachman and Weaver, 1998). Positive psychological effects of social relationships improve physical health by making it easier for the body to maintain chemical homeostasis over long periods of time by alleviating its “allostatic load” (Umberson and Montez, 2010). Ultimately, these components of high-quality social relationships make people less likely to get sick and die. Low-quality social relationships can have
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