Graduate Program

Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

Fall 2023

Thesis Director

Steven J. Scher

Thesis Committee Member

Jeffrey R. Stowell

Thesis Committee Member

JungSu Oh


This study was designed to determine whether the need for social support moderates the relationship between social support (both perceived and enacted) and depression, anxiety, and stress. The study tested the role of Need for Support in the context of both buffering and direct effect models of the effect of social support on mental health and well-being. If perceived availability of social support (i.e., PASS) had a direct effect on well-being, then a simple moderation was predicted. If a buffering effect was present, then a moderated moderation was predicted. This study also predicted a positive relationship between need for social support and extraversion, and that women would have higher levels of need for social support than men.

Results indicated that the perceived availability of social support was moderately negatively correlated with depression, anxiety and stress and positively correlated with extraversion. Enacted support (i.e., ISSB) was not found to be correlated with the outcome variables. Need for Support was found to be positively correlated with both PASS and enacted support. Women had higher scores than men on all main variables but this effect was only significant for the daily hassles score. Need for Support was not found to be significant in moderating the relationship between perceived availability of social support and the outcome variables. This finding could be due to Need for Support not being reliably measured (α = 0.64). Furthermore, the current study’s small sample size provided low power to detect significant interactions.