How does social support relieve depression among flood victims? The contribution of feelings of safety, self-disclosure, and negative cognition

J Affect Disord. 2018 Mar 15;229:186-192. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.12.087. Epub 2018 Jan 3.


Background: Depression is one of the most common post-trauma symptoms that can be alleivated by social support. The purpose of this study was to examine the multiple mediating effects of social support on depression via feelings of safety, disclosure, and negative cognition.

Method: One hundred and eighty-seven flood victims in Wuhu City, an area affected most severely by a flood during July 2016, were selected to complete a self-report questionnaire package.

Results: Social support has four indirect negative effects on depression, including a one-step indirect path to self-disclosure, 2 two-step paths from feelings of safety to self-disclosure, and from self-disclosure to negative cognition about self, and a three-step indirect path from feelings of life safety via self-disclosure to negative self-cognition.

Limitations: All variables were measured using self-report scales.

Conclusion: Social support may relieve depression in flood victims by inducing feelings of safety and self-disclosure, and by relieving negative cognition.

Keywords: Depression; Disclosure; Feelings of safety; Negative cognition; Social support.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • China
  • Cognition
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Disasters*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Floods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychological Trauma / psychology*
  • Self Disclosure
  • Self Report
  • Social Support*
  • Young Adult