This study presents analyses on questionnaire data collected from a panel of 520 gay men at risk for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, enrolled in the Coping and Change Study (1985-1987). The data were assessed to determine the association of social support and coping styles with subsequent depression and global distress and to investigate whether these predictors of mental health are stable or transient over time. Three different measures of the subjective, qualitative nature of social support were significantly associated with subsequent mental health. Those who reported a subjective sense of isolation experienced significantly more adverse mental health 6 months later at all three measurement periods. Scattered effects were found for perceived social conflict and perceived social support from others. These results indicate that certain types of social support appear to influence mental health in this cohort and, furthermore, that some associations are transient and others more stable over time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health