Social support and physical health: the importance of belonging

J Am Coll Health. 2005 May-Jun;53(6):276-84. doi: 10.3200/JACH.53.6.276-284.


Social support is a multifaceted construct recognized as a significant predictor of physical health. In this study, the authors examined several support domains simultaneously in a sample of 247 college students to determine their unique prediction of physical health perceptions and physical symptoms. They also examined gender differences across social support and physical health. Their findings indicated that belonging predicted better health perceptions for women and fewer physical symptoms for men, suggesting that a sense of connection to a group of others is a key support component for the physical health of college students.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Midwestern United States
  • Peer Group*
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Social Identification*
  • Social Support*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Students / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires